The Human Side of Human Beings is one of those rare books which deserves more than five stars. Give it six. Harvey Jackins deftly outlines what we've always known, deep down, to be true about people. And does it in a way where you realize you've always known these things.
There are things each of us has a tough time remembering. This book takes universal truths that are often submerged in cultures and individuals and brings them back up where we can use them.
Jackins also adds some insights to the human pot of knowledge. His concept of a "distress pattern" makes it easier to picture how fear and sadness get stored, and how greatly they can interfere with every good goal. And he shows how recovering from distress, a process every baby fully understands, can be readily accomplished by adults, even while that same distress is trying to run our lives.
I've given this book to about forty friends. I once took a copy to my brother in prison. The guards in the lobby had to look at everything I intended to take inside. While I waited for him to be brought up to the visiting area, they established that the gifts were safe, then spent the rest of time reading the small book with the plain blue cover. When my name was called, I walked over to get my stuff. "This is really good," one guard said. "I'm going to get a copy." His co-worker smiled. "Me too."
If you're interested in a better world, great friendships, teaching, parenting, addictions, genius, learning processes, global peace, or good science, this is a must-read.