'How to be human' Ruby wax

Wax, R. (2018) How to be human. Penguin Books, Limited. 


How to be human is written by ruby wax with input from a neuroscientist and a monk. Ruby explores how we can manifest happiness and mindfulness in a modern world using anecdotes and scientific evidence as well as the expertise of a monk. There are also segments at the end of every chapter with a written account of the conversation regarding the themes in the chapter. The conversations are between the monk, the neuroscientist and ruby. 

Wax's accounts are engaging and amusing. The relaxed honest tone allows the reader in turn to be more honest with themselves about personal flaws and issues they may seek to change. Ultimately the honest account she presents to the reader allows the reader to get the most from the book by letting their guard down and really listening. People have a habit of falling in to denial when reading 'self-help' type books and this book doesn't allow for that to happen. A lot of self-help books take on a tone of sugar coated empathy which some may find uncomfortable, this book however is far from that and perhaps this prompts a more open honest dialogue as opposed to a sugar coated voice providing advice that seems less human and genuine. 

The use of a monks insightfulness in to mindfulness helps the reader understand how they can control their impulses and emotions to better serve them in all aspects of their life. One of my favourite ideas from the Monk was that thoughts and emotions that we feel are a choice. We can choose to accept them or let them go, the idea that we have this choice has legitimately helped me combat my work and practice in a productive way. A feeling of boredom bubbles up and I don't have to indulge in it, I can push it aside and work harder bringing my focus back. This has also made me more focused on creating a reflective journal that is legitimately interesting to read, rather than just ticking boxes for a grade. I believe this is going to make the process of working on the journal more fun and meaningful and hopefully more interesting for you, the reader, to digest.