“The Four Things…”
There are 2 relatively new books out. Coincidentally, one substantiates the other to an almost mystical degree, yet both books and authors are totally unrelated.
The subject matter by which they are intertwined couldn’t be more timely and important to so many seekers of happiness, success, health.
I had the good fortune to bump into the first book quite by chance, then found the second book by fortuitous love for Bookstore Pastries at Borders and the proximity of the Best Seller Table to said pastries.
An aside regarding specific Bookstore pastry – to whit: Their round raspberry scone heated to soft warm perfection chased by Seattle’s Best creamy hot fresh coffee laced with sweet… nice. Very nice.
All right… to continue…
About the first book…
The Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer
Mr. Shermer expounds brilliantly and provocatively upon the most interesting of facts regarding the subliminal and conscious mind and how it is affected by marketing.
Once one understands these mechanisms and harnesses the basic underpinnings of human nature, marketing can become more effective.
On the other hand, armed with the knowledge of marketing techniques, the consumer can be smarter, more astute and more aware of carefully crafted sales manipulation.
Amongst other excruciatingly exacting and fascinating information about the science of marketing, this book proposes the 4 following factors that most characterize the happy and successful:
1. Love of Family
2. Love of Friends and Community
3. Enjoying Your Work
4. Some form of Spirituality focussed on Love
Where on the List is making money? Buying Toys and Gadgets? Having lots of lovely sex? Traveling the world? Seeking fun and adventure? Adorning oneself with gems and jewels?
None of these things were even close to these top four factors.
The second book is called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
In the very beginning, he tells the tale of the Rosetans who immigrated to the Pennsylvania area from Roseta, Italy.
Researchers discovered that the American Rosetans were almost completely free of heart disease at age 65, 50% less than the entire United States. How could this be? Was it the diet? life style? the water, land, genetics?
What factors contributed to this astounding statistic?
In what other ways were the American Rosetans blessed?
Additionally, it turns out that there was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, very little crime. No ulcers, no one on welfare.
As one researcher noted wistfully about walking about the town, “It was magical.”
The story begins in the 1800s when a young priest settled in the new Roseto, forming spiritual societies and organizing festivals.
He encourages the clearing of land in the long back yards to plants onions, beans, potatoes, melons and fruit trees giving out seeds and bulbs.
The townsfolk began raising their own pigs and growing grapes to make homemade wines right in their back yards as well.
Undoubted they raised herbs, spice plants, salad greens and other vegetables as well although the book did not specify.
Small shops, bakeries, restaurants and little neighborhood bars sprang up. One would always see shopkeepers and customers walking, talking, socializing in front of the businesses.
Was the food special? Did it match the food from the Old Country?
Not at all. In the old country, they used olive oil, Here in New Roseto, they used lard. In fact, Rosetans ate a diet of 41% fat.
Rather than the thin crusted pizzas in Italy with tomatoes, anchovies and perhaps a bit of onion, the American Rosetans ate pizzas replete with sausage, ham, pepperoni, salami.
Rather than eating sweets only on special occasions, they now ate sweets all year round.
So what was the difference?
Was it hardy genes? Special fertile land? Research disovered these played no part.
This is what they DID discover about the new Rosetans:
They lived with extended family, respecting their grandpar3ents. They all shared in a unifying calming spiritual church environment.
And very interestingly… along with 22 civic organizations, Mr. Gladwell notes that the Rosetans lived within an “egalitarian ethos.”
This “ethos” discouraged the wealthier from flaunting their success, while helping the unsuccessful avoid the shame of revealing their failures. They lived in a more “obscure” climate of success and failure.
It was surmised the the following 4 factors contributed to the health and happiness of the new Rosetans:
1. Close knit loving families
3. Culture of Community
It seems that the following 4 factors of Book 1 and Book 2 have a 75% concurrence rate.
Coincidence? As of now, I tend to think both authors are very much onto something.
Long ago, we started a series of community websites. We rather knew then that community was more valuable than the suburbs would lead you to believe.
We were not alone. Perhaps everyone can reach into themselves and know that in working together, we work well.
There are those who believe in the Lone Wolf, the singular man, the isolationist philosophy, the “every man for himself” attitude.
Some think of running off to a wild spot to survive on their own.
But, it most likely seems that those who will do best in the future are those who can work together as a community.
What do you think?