"Worthiness of the Human World" | The Profound Teachings of a Ninety-Year-Old

Recently, I read a small book called "Worth the World" written by Nakamura Tsuneko and Okuda Hiromi. It is called small because it can be read in just two hours, making it perfect to read before bed or after waking up.

◎ "Worth the World"

At first glance, this book seems like a self-help book, and the table of contents also seems like one. It is filled with advice on how to deal with life. However, after learning about the author's experiences, I decided to give it a read.

The author, Nakamura Tsuneko, is a psychologist who is still working even at the age of 90. Her life experiences have not been smooth, but she has managed to maintain a sense of peace and kindness.

◎ Nakamura Tsuneko as an assistant (right)

Each piece of advice in the book is a reflection of Nakamura Tsuneko's years of experience. It may seem like clichéd advice when you're young, but as you experience more in life, you can relate to it more.

In the past, when I read books, I used to take notes and mostly copied down good sentences. However, I often left them behind and when I revisited them later, I couldn't feel any memories or remember why I read the book in the first place, nor did I have any insights.

So I decided to adjust my reading pace (taking inspiration from a certain blogger). First, I wanted to understand why I wanted to read a particular book. Who wrote the book, what special experiences do they have, and have they written any other good books? What does the book talk about? Are there any parts that I can apply to my own life? After finishing the book, what thoughts did it bring me? What changes did it inspire me to make or what adjustments am I planning to make?

The summary is: Who, Why, What, How, Think, Todo.

There are too many books in the world, books recommended by friends on social platforms, books available on various book-selling platforms, and all sorts of book lists... With limited energy, it's impossible to read them all, so the question is how to choose. By organizing my thoughts in this way, I am very clear about why I want to read a certain book, what it talks about, and what I can gain from reading it. Especially for certain professional books, reading with a purpose, shifting from passive reading to active learning, is more efficient.

After finishing the book, I spent an hour organizing my reading notes, as shown below. (There is a mind map at the end of the text)

  • Who

    • Author: Nakamura Tsuneko

    • Occupation: Psychiatrist

    • Experiences: Born in a turbulent era, studied under poverty, accidentally became a psychiatrist; family life was also unsatisfactory; wrote this book at the age of 90, sharing some insights on how to live and interact with others.

  • Why

    • As a psychiatrist, she receives consultations daily and has seen all kinds of life situations. Perhaps she can gain insights into certain aspects of life.

    • The life teachings of an elderly person are worth studying to experience the thoughts that have been accumulated through hardships.

  • What

    • Divided into two parts, the first-person narrative consists of 37 thoughts and insights from Tsuneko about fate, family, life, and the workplace. The third-person narrative tells Tsuneko's experiences.

    • The book is thin and can be read in about two hours.

  • How

    • It is not shameful to work for money, accept it calmly.

    • Most people who dislike their jobs have problems with interpersonal relationships.

    • If your job requires you to make significant sacrifices continuously, you should leave without hesitation.

    • Be grateful and appreciate everything you have, no matter how small.

    • Reduce desires, as excessive emphasis on "should" usually indicates high desires.

    • Reduce comparison, and you will experience less anxiety and unease.

    • Respect others, and they will respect you. When interrupting someone, ask if it's convenient first; when communicating, state your own opinions and listen to others' opinions, saying "I think this... what do you think?" to avoid using commanding language.

    • Fate is about relationships with others.

    • When it comes to family, harmony is more important than anything else. Don't try to pursue perfection, as a steady flow is more enduring.

    • When raising children, actions are more important than techniques. Genuine efforts will be recognized by children.

    • If a child has started their own life, parents should not interfere easily.

    • Others have their own lives, and you have your own life. Clearly define boundaries to reduce conflicts and stress.

    • Solitude does not equal loneliness. Embrace the beauty of solitude, and find joy in every aspect of life.

    • People always want to find someone who can share their pain and sadness. Fundamentally, people live their lives alone.

  • Think

    • Serene: Tsuneko's life has not been smooth, but from her words, there is no complaint. Instead, she speaks slowly, like the earnest teachings of an elderly person.

    • Practical: Some of the insights about work, comparison, family, children, and self-awareness are deeply relatable. Especially the respect and gratitude in communication, they are very relatable.

    • Typical: After reading the whole book, it is very obvious that it reflects the typical Japanese style. Restraint, calmness, and consideration for others... it aligns with the impression of Japanese character.

  • Todo

    • Communicate with gratitude and respect when interacting with others, especially in my line of work that requires high communication skills.

    • Reduce comparison and do more thinking, understand what is important, and clarify my own position and goals.

    • Solitude can be enjoyed. This is the advice from my high school homeroom teacher, and it has been my experience for many years. If a person loses solitude and boredom, and fills every moment with external information, they will have fewer opportunities to have a dialogue with themselves.

    • It may be helpful for the future regarding family and children.

![◎ "Worth the World" Reading Notes]( "Worth the World" Reading Notes)

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