“All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players.” Not only William Shakespeare believed that. Peggy Rubin did, too, when she wrote the wonderful transformative book To Be and How to Be. Rubin takes the concepts found in drama such as character, plot, setting, audience, conflict and expression and gives advice to evaluate and hopefully change the reader’s life.
The first few chapters involve identifying one’s role in life. What gifts have you displayed that made you the happiest? How do friends and family members see you, and how do you see yourself? What role would you like to contribute to society, as a healer, a teacher, or a performer? Rubin gives the reader the initial role that the reader wants to play in their lives and how they want to use that role to relate to others.
The next chapters involve the stories that the reader has portrayed using plots that have motivated plays and stories, such as The Fatal Flaw (“A curse or terrible defect drives the central character to do everything possible to alleviate that flaw….”) or The Lost Gift (“Some precious treasure has been lost. If found by the right person, often this treasure will benefit the world…”).
Settings are also discussed as not just the current physical realm of the body and homes, but also our place in larger societies and within the spirit world to become complete beings. Rubin also takes into account points of view (seeing life through another perspective than our own) and conflict (dealing with loss and arguments with others).
Besides the journey, Rubin compares the situations to those of characters in drama. Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing is an example as a woman who knows and recognizes her true nature. Hamlet is written as someone who is in conflict about his role in society and so on. Rubin is similar to Joseph Campbell and other experts who take lessons from literature and drama and relate them to the real physical world. Using this book, the reader will be drawn to star in the play of their own lives to the fullest.