I don't know what penchant it is that makes me fond of old books. It could be that King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that "There is no new thing under the sun" and he also said that of making books "There is no end, and much study weareth the body"
Having said that, where does this leave my desire to read old books? Well, probably that any information or story has probably already been told and a book is just a re-telling of previously known information yet unbeknownst to us!
Sometimes an older book on a particular subject, as long as it is not technology, will give us a richer view of the matter at hand. Despite the internet, I still own a set of encyclopedias and use them from time to time. I heard about a particular subject a while back called Verbal Judo. Although the system was originally directed at law enforcement, the book by the late Dr George Thompson is the psychological adaptation of speaking that he compares with physical Judo. Using an opponents words to create a win-win situation in communication.
One of the main reasons I purchased the book was because I have communication problems at home. When I taught at a technical college, I found that I had communication problems with some of the students as well. So, since I am on a journey to be the best I can, I wanted to work on this area a bit more.
Lo and behold, I found a wealth of information in this book. Some may say that books can give information, but life will give us a true education.
This is where wisdom comes in. A book is good if we know how to read in interpret the information contained therein. Not every book is worthy of our time and effort. I was once given a book to read by a national talk show host. It was so negative within the first 25 pages, that I made the pinnacle decision to give it back to my friend. that is when I realized to choose what you read carefully and don't be afraid to give it back.
Sir Francis Bacon said "Some books are to be tasted, others tasted and chewed, and others tasted, chewed and thoroughly digested"
Secondly, another old book gave some advice on reading. That was to train your mind to be like that of a miner digging for diamonds. Throw away the useless information and only keep the jewels!
So is Verbal Judo! I found that Dr Thompson was a former police officer that compared psychological principles, Asian philosophical adages, and street common sense to form a system that is fairly effective in dealing with talking to people.
Some of this information is just common sense as I've said. We need to watch our voice when we talk to people. the tone, inflection and the realization that we are viewed differently that how we see our selves, and that may make a big difference.
A big subject that stood out to me was the fact that empathy is a huge part in understanding people. I should have heard this in bible college, but only remember some remote teachings when we studied the book of Job!
the other factors that stuck out in the book were techniques and styles to use when dealing with people, and some really good information that he says can apply to dealing with teenagers. My oldest is only 10, so I have a few years to perfect this before the deluge of attitude comes!
I recommend this book, it's a really good read and is a tool in the arsenal of anyone who would rather do as the great general Sun Tsu said"
"To win without fighting is the zenith of excellence"