The Republic of Tea (Beginnings)

by Megan M. on January 15, 2009 (Blog) |

Just like the last one, I was only ten pages in before I started saying Whoa.

I define “fundamental change” as a society where every individual comes to accept every social problem as a problem of his own making, and sees the wisdom of changing himself (into a happier and compassionate human being) as his way of changing the world.

Have you ever picked up a book and seen your thoughts reflected almost perfectly in its pages? This happened to me with most of Chris Guillebeau’s ebook, nearly all of Seth Godin’s Tribes, and probably only a few others that I can think of. Snow Crash wasn’t a reflection—it was a new adventure for me that fit perfectly into what I wanted, right then. (It was crazy inspiring, too.) But Republic of Tea is reading my brain like a… like a book.

So those of you who’ve read it and remember its particular turns of phrase will find it very funny when I say: The Republic of Tea is reading me.

There are parts that have created bizarre chemical changes in my brain, like this:

In The Republic of Tea we embody Chuang Tzu’s “time before history,” when people were kind to one another but did not call it “being kind to one another,” when people naturally looked out for each other and for the world around them but didn’t see it as “being caring and responsible.” Incidentally, the reason Chuang Tzu called this the “time before history” is because it was an era that came and went without leaving a trace of itself. Since nothing went “wrong,” nobody had any reason to write anything down. It was lived, not recorded.

And there are parts that are constantly making me laugh, even as I consider how true they can sometimes be:

…reflects that business is life and life is business and our understanding that anybody who separates the two is just looking for a way to rationalize his uncivil behavior in business.

And geeze, I’m barely halfway through. It’s a decent first edition, so I had to strong arm myself into enacting my customary dog-ear’d note-taking learning process. (Any book, to me, is worth more as a lesson than a museum piece. Well, unless it’s a museum piece.)

It gets more heavily into business territory as it goes. It’s teaching me really interesting things about physical product development, and it’s showing me a lot of process that I’ve never seen anywhere else. But it’s so much more than that; it’s based on ideas that give me chills.

People thrive on happiness. There is nothing elusive about happiness. It’s here always; the only problem is that sometimes we’re not here for it.

Read that one again, guys.

I don’t know whether you’re interested in tea or business, but great big parts of this book are just about life, and it’s already so worth reading.

The Republic of Tea and Snow Crash (among many others) were picked up on !MBA recommendation. So far it’s steering way true. (Thanks, Seth!)

Man, do I love good books.

At least to the half point, this one’s a doozy. I’ll keep you updated, but I doubt I’ll change my mind. ;}

[Edit: That’s what I get for posting before sleep! Snow Crash was actually on this list. Made to Stick is the other from the !MBA. I’ll tell you about that one shortly!]

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