By Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills
I had a friend tell me this book changed his life, so I wrote this – The Four Agreements Summary. As a fellow Christian of the same denomination I struggled with the fact he saw this work as so powerful. I was intrigued. What is more powerful and elicits more change than the word of God? So, I purchased this life-changing audio and took a road trip.
This book has sold over 9 million copies in the United States. So, there are at least 9 million people that are searching for answers beyond Christianity. Based on ancient pre-Columbian Mesoamerica culture, of the Teotihuacan civilization, the Toltecs of Central Mexico rose to prominence somewhere around 750 A.D. From this culture, Miguel espouses in his book, their four basic principles; First, Be Impeccable with Your Word. Second, Don’t take Anything Personal. Third, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Fourth, Always do your Best.
I have to say that just reading the four basic principles I was transposed back to my childhood. I could hear my mother’s voice in my head telling me her parental principles, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Then there was, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” Then, my all time favorite to this day, “It is just as easy to marry a rich man as it is a poor man.” Maybe it is still my favorite because I still don’t understand it. Statistically, there are fewer rich men and way more…lesser rich men, so how is it just as easy?
You can see that I’m all about analysis here. At this point, just from the headings, not opposed to said four basic Toltec principles as they made as much sense as my mother, God rest her soul. This still did not begin to answer for me why my friend had a life-changing event from this book. Really, most Christians can easily associate a Bible verse with any of these four principles.
Principle 1: Be Impeccable with Your Word
This principle advocates not judging with your words. An easy reach to Matthew 7:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
And most of James:
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
Principle 2: Don’t Take Anything Personal
This principle walks us down the road of not being offended by others.
“See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24
Principle 3: Don’t Make Assumption
Choosing a belief system, the Individual can avoid sadness, drama and misunderstanding by not making assumptions. Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus stands out here on the belief system of mankind.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” Isaiah 53:3
Principle 4: Always Do Your Best
By incorporating the prior three principles every day, you can become the best you can be while enjoying a self-fulfilled life free of self-deprecation.
As a Christian, spiritually, I want to interject here to stay focused on Jesus.
In conclusion of this book review on The Four Agreements, I can’t say that I reached enlightenment, hit Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, or anything more than average self-help. I will say that if it does bring others to a transgressional state, like my friend, I’m all in. For as we all become better humans, mankind in general benefits for the greater good. In closing, I will say a quick thank you to John Kennedy and not my mom this time, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.