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Book Review: Manual for Living: A User’s Guide to the Meaning of Life: CONNECTION by Seth David Chernoff

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Seth David Chernoff’s Manual for Living: A User’s Guide to the Meaning of Life: CONNECTION is a treatise which seeks to help readers find a meaningful purpose in life. Another related objective in life is to find clarity in our finite existence. In moving forward, the author believes that the act of pursuing more and more affluence pulls us away from an important connection to society at large and those around us.

Henry Ward Beecher stated that: “He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.” Ultimately, a person’s character and inner core determines the richness of being over crass materiality.

Chernoff writes that transformation happens uneventfully and paradigms shift when we can let go of the past so that we can take full advantage of future opportunities. In addition, the book makes clear that technology can never supplant human bonding and connectivity.

The author goes on further to explain how core communications breakdowns can lead to wars, divorces, and other modes of avoidable confrontation.  A classic fault may be to attempt to control other people. In reality, a sustained attempt to control other people can be counterproductive.

Bertrand Russell said that: “To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
Fear is an irrational state that can take over our entire being and prevent rational consideration of even the most meritorious alternatives.

Nurturing solid relationships can evolve from the initial stages of learning to growth and understanding. According to Marcel Proust, “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

A fault of people is to purchase things in order to feel better about themselves. This behavior in itself can bring individual consumers to the verge of bankruptcy for no good reason except compulsion. Ultimately, the best way to feel better about ourselves is through connectivity with the people in our periphery and not acquiring things to expand the stock of our material possessions.

Overall, the author makes clear a number of difficult notions like freedom, honesty, letting go, intimacy, friendship, and many more. Most people know these concepts on an intuitive level. The author clarifies these concepts with plenty of pertinent examples which have practical application in our everyday lives.

Manual For Living is written in simple language. Difficult concepts are made easier through the prism of proverbial wisdom and numerous quotes by noted scholars. A strength of the book is that Chernoff seeks to present the material
dispassionately with very little preaching in the presentation. The acquisition would be a worthy purchase for your personal library. In addition, the contents can help readers cope with the vagaries of life on every level. For this reason
alone, the book has substantial value to consumers everywhere.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.