Bestselling American author Stephen Covey writes about German statistician and economist E. F. Schumacher’s A Guide for the Perplexed in You’ve GOT to Read This Book!, a compilation by Gay Hendricks and Jack Canfield:

I read Schumacher’s book, A Guide for the Perplexed, which took the concept of personal choice to a more applied level. In the book Schumacher describes four levels of being. The highest level is characterized by the ability to be self-aware-that is, to be aware of being aware. This quality is the unique endowment of a human being. We’re not simply the sum of our experiences; we can reflect on those experiences and how they interact, and then make a choice based on that awareness. This idea has had a tremendous impact on my teaching, my writing, and my personal life, including the raising of my children. Even when they were small, my children knew they couldn’t get away with giving an excuse or blaming someone else. If they said, “Well, she did this and this,” I’d ask, “Why did you choose this response to that?” In our house, everyone knew that we always have the power of choice and that no one is a victim—ever. Each of us is responsible for our part of the equation, so we don’t blame anyone else for our situations.

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