A Connection between Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements" and Martin Buber's "I and Thou"

Essay by ThisKidHereUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, March 2006

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"The Four Agreements", written by Don Miguel Ruiz outlines four steps that one can take in bettering themselves, their lives, and how they interact with the people and the world around them. The steps outlined in this book also ties into the basic model of interpersonal communication, and if followed, the agreements that Ruiz has written about, one can not only help but achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and others. A connection between true dialogue and Martin Buber's notion of an I-Thou relationship and these agreements can be seen.

The primary agreement expanded upon is to "Be Impeccable with Your Word". Ruiz explains that "it is through the word that you manifest everything- what you dream, what you feel and what you really are" (Ruiz, Agreements, 26). He also explains that "The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think" (Ruiz, Agreements, 26).

Often the power of the word is underestimated. Uncomplicated communication has an enormous impact on the physical, emotion and mental spheres of others and one's self. How we interact with others and what is actually communicated can be altered by filters and often convey different meaning than what is meant. People need to learn how to use their words carefully because one they have been communicated they cannot be retrieved.

The second agreement is "Don't Take Anything Personally". It is human nature to view the world as it is seen in one's own mind. Often, people only hear or see what they want to see. When we see or hear something that we didn't intend on, we tend to take offense and assume that it was meant to be taken personally. People take instances and events that occur in daily life personally. Ruiz explains this clearly by stating...