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“The Humanist Approach to Happiness: Practical Wisdom” by Jennifer Hancock – book review

I was given the opportunity to review the book “The Humanist Approach To Happiness:  Practical Wisdom” by Jennifer Hancock.  I had heard and read a few things about Humanism, but didn’t quite grasp the whole concept until completing this book.  I can say that if you’re a parent of a teen or young adult or you are a young adult, you will benefit from reading this book, whether you are a Humanist or not.  I can also say that I can almost guarantee that everyone in this world probably wishes that everyone else acted like a Humanist.  The advice for life that the author gives in this book is common sense and practical.  It’s advice that will make you happier, stronger, avoid heartache, or else deal with it wisely when it comes your way.
This quote from the book sums it up:  “The Humanist approach to happiness is simple.  Be a good person.  Strive to be ethical, compassionate and responsible in all that you do.  Take responsibility for your life and for the consequences of your actions.  Choose to act in ways that will increase your happiness and the happiness of others.”
I need to point out that most Humanists do not believe in religion or a God or gods.  That is where I had to disagree with Humanism, and that’s okay.  There are also a few other differences between Humanism and Christianity, but in my opinion, Christians should be acting like Humanists, for the most part.  It’s just common sense advice for handling the things life throws at us.
As a Christian who is secure in my beliefs, I know that there is a God.  I can’t look at my children and think for one second that there isn’t a God.  But the Bible was written a loooooong time ago, and sometimes we need a little direction and as parents, we need to give our kids a little direction.  This book can do that for you without you disregarding your current beliefs and claiming Humanism.  I like to think of it as a little extra help in this crazy life.  
From the book:
“Don’t make assumptions about a person’s moral or ethical character based on what their belief system is.” 
How true is that statement?  Every one of us knows people with different belief systems.  I personally know atheists that are good people and likewise, “Christians” that aren’t so lovely and I don’t want to be around them, and vice versa.  I’m sure that all of you know what I’m talking about!  No matter what we believe, we still should be good people.
Here are some tidbits from the book that would greatly benefit teens and young adults:
“When you hang out with people who do risky things, you put your own life at risk as well.”
“Part of being a nice person is being polite.  There are very few reasons to justify rudeness.  Be nice to everyone you meet.”
“Be nice, but always put safety first.”
“We all tend to get so wrapped up in our own issues that we forget other people have their own problems.”
“When you realize that the world doesn’t actually revolve around you, you can choose to override your instinct that tells you it does.”
“People who delude themselves into thinking that all the other drivers on the road are aware of them and know what they are planning to do next cause a lot of accidents.”
“The simpler the food, the better it probably is for you.  Get in the habit of reading food labels and try not to eat anything with extra ingredients.”
“Stick to what you know you can afford and resist the temptation to borrow money just because it is offered.”
“Studies have shown that people who drink or use drugs are simply not as happy as those who don’t.”
“It takes a minimum of three or four months to
determine whether a person you have been dating is crazy or not.”
(Boy, could I have used that last bit of advice in college!  ha!)
Can you see why I say this book is good for teens and young adults?  Now, I wouldn’t just hand it to my son(s) (when they get older, of course.)  The perfect scenario would be reading the book and talking about it together, but alas, I  remember those days and probably would not have been too keen on reading this, or any book, with my parents.  And I probably wouldn’t have read a book that my parents handed me (sorry, Mom & Dad!) but you’ll just have to be creative on that one.  Read it for yourself, decide if it’s something that would benefit you and your family, and at the very least, you can store some of the good advice and bust it out when your son or daughter is looking for some!  

Jennifer Hancock is a self published author.  Her book is on Kindle’s best seller list for Parenting/Morals & Responsibility and Parenting/Teens.  You can find more information about the author or purchase the book on her website.  Here are some discounts for you:  

 *Disclosure:  The book in this post was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my very own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

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Jen Hancock - A Happy Humanist

Wednesday 12th of October 2011

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

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Family lifestyle blogger from
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