Book Review: The Values Compass by Dr. Mandeep Rai


Book Title: The Values Compass
Author: Dr.Mandeep Rai

Book Title:
The title of the book ‘The Values Compass‘ is interesting and evolving.

Book Cover:
The cover image of the book is a simple image of a compass with the title in large font. With a calm white background, the book cover creates an interest to read.

About the book:

Broadcast journalist Mandeep Rai takes us on a journey to 101 countries around the world, highlighting a single, unique value that has defined each nation’s history, culture, and global influence – and how we can apply them to better our own lives and make decisions more effectively.

My review:
It is indeed a great experience reading this book. On a personal note, I cannot stop admiring Dr.Mandeep’s interest and dedication in traveling to many places, understanding the culture and history, and bringing out the political perspective imbibed with the traditions of every place she visited. It is not up to everyone’s fortune to travel all over the world but the author has given every reader a chance to travel along with her through the book. This book ‘The Values Compass’, as the name suggests is all about the values and values system every country created for itself on which the country runs and sets an example to the world. It is indeed a thoroughly researched encyclopedia of various systems. The bottom line that every country with at least one similarity shares the same thread of lifestyle.

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The author starts off the book saying, ‘All of us will have moments like this in our life, where the choices, challenges, or opportunities facing us reveal something important about our character, desires, and personality. A decision about whether to prioritize professional aims or family needs; to pursue the best-paid job or the most meaningful; to do the things we want, or those that support our health and well-being’. A decision was taken by an individual who always has its own stakes unless everyone related to the person agrees to it. Then comes the conflict. The conflict of choice, ideas, beliefs, and values. While some seem to be rational and some irrelevant. If a decision was taken based on such conflicts by a single person in the family when becomes a point of decision, on an aggregated level how does a country take decisions and how were the builders of the country back then during the evolution of political systems in and around the world must have worked. This single point made me read the book in one go.

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In the first part, the author talks and explains about the ‘ Change Values ‘ of some countries. One of the most fascinating thing in this chapter was knowing and understanding what values mean and how much hard work goes to maintain them. The values talk about A to Z of life. Be it the lifestyle or the family or the profession or goals or whichever.  Sometimes or many times the values we create to ourselves shape up as a better version of ourselves. The values with which we develop as an individual helps us to communicate with various things in the outside world. Sometimes the clash of values between two people helps in developing a better thinking model. A value created by self or others depends on the geography of the place of living, biological and social interests, and the community standards. The values created also dictate and support the nations from crisis and it is a proven fact.

The chapter ‘Change Values’ talks about how each nation or country in the world has changed and adapted itself along with the people in there to the new changes happening around. In this chapter, the mention of the country Cuba fascinated me a lot. The Cuban art of problem-solving is what makes the little Caribbean country unique. Apart from the cultural aspects, the stress and strain the Country faced after the fall of the Soviet Union, the economic crash, and the country’s pathetic situations are very well explained. Though heard about the problems faced by the public during those years, maybe later in 1990, this book has given new info and insights. Another country is Denmark whose change value is ‘equality’.

Dr. Mandeep Rai

Similarly, the other chapters that talk about Continuity Values, Connection Values, Communal Values, and Core values help the readers understand how to understand a nation with its values. This statement though looks like a round-robin, once the book is read, this statement makes a point! As a reader, I request other readers to read this book as it opens a new gateway to thinking

What I like:

1. The content and the way it is organized
2. The many unknown facts and historical facts
3. The capability of making the readers understand simple and strong facts
4. The author’s ability to put forward many unknown things

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What I didn’t like:
There is nothing to dislike

With an engaging narration which is a blend of the author’s personal experiences and worldly knowledge, the book is undoubtedly wonderful.  The book is a perfect eye-opener and though-provoking to understand how countries stand in support, how they keep themselves united amidst many chaoses etc.,

Language & Grammar:
With a very quality and rich language, the author has written a very nice book. The language is understandable to everyone. Young people who want to know more about the nations and how they are formed can consider this book as a ready reference.

My Final Verdict:
A very interesting book!

My Rating:

This book review first appeared in Storizen Magazine May 2020 Issue