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Motivational speaker and poet Cheng offers a heartfelt guide to building the foundations for a good life.

Cheng has had her share of miseries: A crippling case of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which was not only excruciatingly painful but kept her from school and almost sent her into foster care, was followed by the loss of her vision at the age of 17. So if she chooses to live in happiness, then her tools to achieve that state certainly have fashioned one shining example. Cheng is a forceful believer in God Almighty: “God is everything. He is all virtues…He is infinite, total, and all-encompassing.” Well, perhaps not all the time–“He is absent during your every fall”–and she is not the first to appreciate that “He works under mysterious plans.” But readers need not be believers to find the everyday wisdom in her life purposes: to be a good person with good intentions and to enjoy life to its last sensuous, joyous morsel. Her advice is to live moment to moment, guided by a foundation of values and virtues. Writing with verve and conviction, and ever cutting to the chase, she covers the ingredients of the foundation: faith (in God, perhaps, or maybe simply the allegiance to a cause), finding gratitude (or at least an education) in all things, discovering your core value (hers is goodness), loving life and yourself and others, and having hope that things will go right. Who’s to argue with that? As you wend your way to being good, Cheng is adamant about putting your needs first (only when you have cared for yourself can you fruitfully care for others) and being yourself, finding what is important to you, learning to say no, giving yourself a break, kicking back and taking risks. Then she provides working examples of how to handle the negativities that enter life–deaths, physical ailments–moving beyond simply tendering good words.

Cheng could easily have become sad and bad, but good and happy is her path. These lifeways were her ticket to the high road.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-6151-5522-7
Program: Kirkus Indie
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