Dodunu Komi – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh
Assessment by Dodunu Komi (Togo)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The power of the mind or thought over matter or humans. Through the book; James Allen, the Author reveals the most important role of thought in human personality and invites readers to appropriate it thought is characteristic of human beings and distinguishes him from animals. Only humans think, anything else. So a person is literally what she thinks. Everything we do, is the result of what we think comes from our thought; bad or good thing. So human could be a wrongdoer or benefactor according to the kind of thought he has chosen to himself. The thought is the fundamental element or base of our life, situation or the earth. So it is easy to a human to build or destroy his own life, his future. By this way we can say that the thought is the molder of the life and the builder of the destiny. We are able to change the condition in which we live through the thought. That we fail or succeed, feel sick or have good health, happy or unhappy, depends on the thought. There is no reason coming from outer.

The thought has effects on the circumstances of life .Because we have positive idea, thinks will go positively and with negative thought, negative results. That means, human is able to create his own condition, his world. Nothing arrive by chance lucky or hazard. Human has power to change circumstances of his life, he can succeed changing his condition and circumstances if really he known or understand that he has the power and the authority to do it. Of course some circumstances buffet a human but he must realize that he is a creative power which command the world and call for existence everything he wants. Thought has the supernatural power on the humane. This power allows the thought to operate through any changes and transformation in life. Before this power becomes useful, human, must know he has the thought which also has potentialities to transform things in the right way or in the bad way according to what you want. That means humans must know who he is and what he can do to succeed, failure, progress, health, life, death, to be rich, to be poor are in the hand of the thought. We must know how to manage it.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. use personal examples from your own life.

i. “Good thought bear good fruit bad thought bad fruit.”

We often say “like father, like son,” that means, through the behavior of the son ,we see the image of the farther. It can also means the son do like his father the son is convening what he learned or received from his father. He resembles or looks like his father. The author use this expression to confirm the truth that : good thoughts bear good fruity and bad thought bad fruit. It is rare , almost nonexistent, that good thoughts bear bad fruit. This is a wish, or an invitation of those people, who expect good results or good fruit to have good thoughts.

ii. A strong man cannot help a weaker person unless that weaker person is willing to be helped.

We always say that the stronger must help the weaker, the richest must help the poor. It is very kind, but another question is: It is easy to help somebody, who does not need a help or who does know that he must be helped? This question is easy to answer .We take an example of a teacher and his schoolboys and girls. The teacher teaches in order to help students to understand something and to grow. So that this education benefits the student, they must go to school, take notes during the course and learn the lesson at home. Only by this way , he can succeed . But if not, the teacher may come from South Africa, England or Germany, the student could not benefit from the help of the teacher. The student must be ready to learn; to receive education.

iii. “These can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice.”

We understand sacrifice in this way by effort: So that a man become fully accomplished he must be socially, spiritually, morally and intellectually molded and it is not easy to educate people, to deprive them from their habits, from their animal nature. That is what we call education, it takes time and needs energy it is sacrifice. The life it self is a battle and only the violets will succeed.

iv. “Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything and never can.”

We are in a battle on the earth. So as soldiers, we have to keep our thoughts on what we are looking for and continue fighting, searching for the results and the solutions with courage and determination. When we take a stand it is no matter to come back again. We need to persevere until we win.The thought of doubt and fear maintains the human being in servitude and the slavery.

v. Suffering is always the effect of the wrong thought.

If we are convinced that good thoughts bear good fruit; suffering is not a good fruit. As a result, suffering cannot be the fruit of good thought, but of bad thought. So a person is literally what she thinks. That means, a man who is suffering is probably the man who has wrong thought because wrong thoughts produce wrong results, wrong things. Suffering is wrong fruit, it comes from wrong thought. A wrongdoer is always bad.

vi. A person is literally what he thinks.

We often realize that bad people have bad thoughts and kind people have good thoughts. That means the thought has great power on the life or condition of the lie. Either way, thought influences our life and behavior, so that it is easy to guess the thought of somebody through his way of life.

vii. There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body.

When somebody has bad thoughts, he seems to be in the darkness; but when he succeeds or forces himself to change his bad thoughts into good thoughts ,his personality becomes illuminated. So the good thought has dissipated the darkness which was in him. For instance, when a man is angry; he is filled out with bad thought, with darkness. He becomes joyful and his aspect changes when he abandons the anger, the bad thought.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world. If so, why?

These lessons are tips for me and will help me to know myself better, to have self control of myself and to lay a new foundation of my life. They help me to know my weaknesses, my mistakes, my defaults, and how to remedy them. I now better understand some of my reactions and behaviors. These lessons are the guide of my life. They help me to understand others .I’m now able to direct my life in the right way. I understand that I have my destiny in my own hands and not in the hand of another person. If I have problem or if i do not succeed. I understand that I’m the cause the first responsible and not somebody else. I were thought to have always positive or good thought, because it bear good fruit and circumstances. I can maintain myself in good health when I have good thought. With these lessons I’m able to shape my own and new world, my environment like I want. I can also help others persons to get these knowledge, so that the society become an harmonious town, where people live in peace and in joy. These lessons help me, from now on, to search solutions of my problems by my own side, not elsewhere. I’m the master, the molder of life. I’m sufficiently equipped to talk, to teach, to shape these ideas with people around me, in my area. In the face of circumstances, I have to think deeply before any reactions. Hazard and spontaneity do not exist again in my life, in my decisions. Because by thinking for a long time, I’m sure I’ll get the real solution, the result which is the good fruit.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you?

“Nothing can come from corn but earn, nothing from nettles but nettler.”

Since the beginning of the world, God has established order: humans engender human, animals engender animals and trees engender trees. In this precized cases the other confire what God had said: good thought bears good things and bad thought wrong thinks. This law isn’t universal and existed since the beginning of things it cannot be changed. From good thought, coe always good things. If we do well, well get good result if we do wrong, we’ll get wrong answer good things cannot come from bad thought, never and bad things can not also come from good thought. So are the realities in the world this truth oblige those who want to proper, to succeed , to have good health , to have peace, joy to have good thought. Those who have problems must also understand that they have to change their thoughts in the right way. This is the only solution. Thought is the most important element in the center of our life.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and if so why?

I agree with the point of new of the other when he talked about the thought like the most important engine of our personality, destiny, being will. Indeed it is proved that his position is clear .my only fear is that the other consider that with the thought human can make all that he wants, in other words that thought can explain or justify everything human does.

If we consider a laborious student who , during the school year, spent all his time learning his lesson in order to pass the examined. Unfortunately this student failed his exams. This feature is it because this student has bad thoughts? Or a newborn who comes into the world with a handicap did he do something bad? Some babies that were born and died a few days later .Did they make any sense? How could the thought explain these phenomena? I dream that I made an accident, two days after, it happens or it does not happen .In this case, what has the thought done? Truthfully the thought plays a very important part in our life but it cannot be the cause of every situation. There is also unconscious which governs our life .It would be exaggeration to attribute all to the thought.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book is enough clear. The only thing the author could add where the limit of the thought. These are certain domain that the thought cannot operate, as I have already said it. I think this book is a reference for a lot of people

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous question? If so please comment.

Concentrated thinking is the great secret that separates the winners from the whiners. Human beings have somatic and spiritual aspects: the somatic aspect is everything concerning the human body and the spiritual aspect is all that talks about the human mind or the human spirit. Both these two aspects form the human being. By this way, some of our acts are spiritual and some carnal .All that happens in our life .This spiritual side is also called soul or the inner being. So the conversation with the inner being is possible in special condition: concentrated thinking. This aspect of human being speaks and reveals secret things to those who demands it. So concentrated thinking is the only occasion that the human being can hear the voice of his inner being.

Please rate the following questions on the scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful was the contents? 8
C. How easy was it to understand? 6
D. Would you recommend it to other? 8
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Dodunu Komi (Togo)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The author Richard Bach through the book : Jonathan Livingston Seagull, developed several ideas going all in the same direction building and training of an harmonious and beaming human being. The author assimilated the man being to the seagull with all his characteristics or skills. These two groups of being have approximately the same way of life: They live and make things together; they are social being. As we know, human being is the assembling of many skills. These may be wrong or right. So these skills determine which kind of man wear. Jonathan Livingston Seagull has a precise target: to learn to fly. He mobilized his thought, mind, his soul, his energy, and briefed all his body to reach his target. Jonathan was resolute despite the discouragement of his environment and his relations, the difficulties that he met and the failure or the defeat that he registered to go forward.

I think, if we readers can learn from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, his way or style of life and understanding, we must be able to change a lot of things, we can reverse the order of things, we can create a new world, where things will go better. The courage and the resolution to reach one’s target are skills that everyone needs to face the obstacles. Nothing is easy, nothing is difficult. If we have the will and the faith, everything can be possible.

2-What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why?.

i. To have a Target.

A target is the duty that we give to ourself. It is the decision to realize or to do something by the time .This decision needs an agreement and we all are glad, in joy when this target is It is abnormal to live without target, it is like nonexistent and it would be very difficult in the world to succeed if we do not have any target. The target is a guide for our everyday’s life. For instance I the first born in my family and my parents are not rich ,so I decided to do all my best , in order to succeed.

ii. The Courage.

Our life in the world is similar to the battle and only the courageous will win.the war. At any level of life or in front of any problem; it would be very important to keep our courage in hand and persevere. When I were at school, I had trouble passing my last exam in senior secondary school. Three times I missed this exam; but because I was courageous, I finally succeeded.

iii. Determination or Resolution.
Courage and resolution are nearer but resolution is higher. Jonathan Livingston Seagull took the resolution to go ahead although there is a problem. He did not hear what was being said behind him or near him. He wanted to learn.

iv. Trust in One’s Self.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull has trust in God and also in himself. He knows that he will succeed, he has faith which is like an energy that convince to go forward to the end; encouraging that tomorrow will be better. Every stage of my life seems to be difficult to me but by trusting in god and in myself, I realize that ways are opened in my life.
For example, at the beginning of this tuition, I have all difficulties to understand the book, and i have told to myself that I will succeed. Now things are going better.

v. To Help Others to Succeed.

The greatest worry of Jonathan Livingston Seagull is to learn to fly and after, help others to do so .This way of understanding things move away the poverty and establish equality. When men understand to help each other, life becomes easier for all and the love establishes automatically. I have tried to help my broders and sister to do something for themselves; today they are not depend on me, I’m so free.

vi. Love Other Persons.

To love somebody means to wish him the best .Love brings us to accept others with their weakness and their default. Everywhere love prevails, there is peace and harmony and happiness. I too try to love my neighbor, making him free and joyful.

vii. Humility

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is called the son of the great seagull, the most important of all the only who can fly as far as possible but he never behaved like the greatest expert. He continued to learn, to practice all the time. Also in this case I try to be humble and discipline myself to face the problem and face several situations: At work, in the group, in my society.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

I have now a new vision of life, a new way to understand things to consider the human being . These lessons make me sure that some of my actions are good and have to be continued at the same time some need to be changed in the right way. The most important I have learned is to continue to learn from other persons as long as I live several years ago, I was considering that I could not do anything again, because I am old practically and day after day stress and restlessness and desolation invaded my thoughts and life.
I was on the way to becoming miserable, because I always compare myself to friends and those of my age .Briefly, I lost courage. I was discouraged by my own situation : I had no work and family problems.

So the courage of Jonathan Livingston Seagull gave me the courage to face every difficulty. I understood that everything was possible everything is feasible if I trust myself.

It would be very hard today to live or to intend succeeding without having a precise target. To live like that seems to be a car without a steering wheel. I told myself it is still possible to do a lot of things as long as God gives me the strength and the belief .I was created to win against the creature.

I will get more pleasure to help others, to be more useful, available ready at any time to bring my assistance to somebody. My strength and greatness consist in loving others. Humility is the biggest weapon I received from Jonathan Livingston Seagull .I will keep it precisely by using it in any situation. These ideas are not only necessary but they are also indispensable to everybody and we all need them in order to play our part of responsibility in society. These ideas move together. We have to keep them and teach them to the following generation if we really want to change our way of life and then we will be able to create not only a new, but a better world.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you?

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence, we can be free. The real development or changing beginning when people change their mind and mentality. For all humility is the most important skill which constitutes the base of any personal progress. As a human being, we have to consider or recognize the talents and skills of other people around us. This acceptance of the neighbor made the relationship easier, particularly the exchanges. Jonathan Livingston Seagull did not shy away from learning how to fly. We have to be formed, to get more potentialities that take us out of ignorance and give us knowledge to create our own world, where we’ll be free. We must have confidence in ourselves. This confidence gives self assurance and a power to innovate.”

“The humility, the consideration or recognition of the talents of the others ,the acceptance of the neighbor, the self-confidence, self-assurance, love. Are the skills that constitute what we call: changing of mentality. God equipped the human being with all these elements with intention that he would be able to do all that we want. So if we want to be able master of our own life or world, we have to go back to these skills and talents. God created human at his image and gave him power to create and dominate on the earth.”

“One school is finished and the time has come for another to begin. Everything changes we must also change our mind.”

In the olden time and in Africa , men married a lot of women and they had no problems. Today the situation changed and those who try marrying a lot of women; have serious problems. Fifty years ago, the authorities came in schools to seek employees or workers, but today it is very difficult to get a job in our society. For this situation ,we also have to change our way to do or to consider the things. The world in which people fight for food has gone, it is now time to fight for development.

“We choose our next world through what we learn in this one.”

Of course ,we are talking about the changing of the mentality, about the new world. The new question is: are we going to reject all that has been done? I think no. we will build a new world basing our experiences on the old one. We have a lot of things to learn from the others, particularly from the old world and to make part of things that is good? What is wrong? We now build from what we retain after this analyses and so doing, step by step, creating the new world that we want and we are its author, it ‘ll correspond to our realities.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

Based on Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the author described our everyday life in different societies; our reactions to problems. The book is clear enough but the only thing which retains my attention is that, in the whole book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull had nobody by his side to encourage him. Even his own parents were absent. This remark is like what happened today: there are a lot of friends when we can help, friends disappear when you have nothing.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

It would be better, according to me, for the author to propose a character who , sometimes, encourages Jonathan, who often is with him ,supporting him in his problems.
Supporting people when they have problems is also a very important skill that is missed among us. This support give them assurance to belong to a family or a group that take care of them; a family which loves them, think of them. Those who were supported are automatically obliged to do so, giving their best. Of course Jonathan Livingston Seagull realized his dream, but it would be better for him if someone supported him when he was learning and practicing alone.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous question? If so please comment.

If our friendships depend on things like space and time, then when this finally overcomes space and time, we destroyed our own brotherhood. As humans, we need materials in any way, at any time and anywhere to survive and satisfy or appease our needs. These materials have been made or created by god to be useful for human beings in different ways.

We call them very often richness. They are indeed important but they can not at any moment stand in for human beings on the earth. So we have to maker part of things. Our relationships do not depends on materials or richness that we have. Human being are all equals and have the same value for god the creator; if not we’ll continue to divide the world, creating groups of rich persons and another for pour men. We must be together, not for our own and personal profit, but because we need each other. Unity is strength. If we are together because of materials, when these finish or disappear, or no longer exist, we also must dislocated. Originally, human beings were created to live in society.

Please rate the following questions on the scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 6
B. How helpful was the contents? 7
C. How easy was it to understand? 5
D. Would you recommend it to other? 7
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 7