Arthur Chang’s Point of Virtue makes for an interesting and simple starting point for meditation and thought. Filled with a mixture of wisdom, cliches, advice, and fortune cookie-esque sayings, the book moves between the serious, funny, and absurd with every page. Chang, an avid student of Buddhism, uses the trappings of everyday life to incorporate many Buddhist teachings. For example, one chapter is dedicated solely to social media and social networking with quips such as “An insignificant waste of time is spent during a significant hour.” and “Even our pets have Instagram.” Another chapter takes on the topic of smartphones, saying “The phone is getting smarter, we are not.” While some of these pithy expressions seem a little trite on their own, when strung together they form a concise and thoughtful point of view of life and virtue.
Unfortunately, the books illustrations don’t mirror this sentiment. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Each photo on it’s own is an engaging snapshot of a landmark, food, landscape, or artifact. As a collection however, there is seemingly no rhyme or reason for why these photos were chosen and placed with their corresponding phrases. The lack of connection between the images and text does not diminish the impact of the book. Point of Virtue is a charming look into Chang’s world view which allows the reader to focus and meditate on their own thoughts on life, technology, and culture. I could imagine keeping this book in my bag and bringing it out when riding the Broad St line, while waiting for a bus transfer at 30th St Station, or passed among friends while sitting in Fairmount Park.
“Arthur Chang grew up in Taiwan. He came to the U.S. in June, 1992 to pursue his American Dream. He founded his first company, Kingman International, which later became Kingman Group in December 1992, at age 27. That same year he registered at an evening film school and graduated in 1994. Film was his first love! The pinnacle of his career was reached in 1994 with the introduction of Spyder Paintball, placing the Spyder brand as a leader in the market. Chang was an active film producer from 1995 until 2005 in Hollywood. In 2013 he retred from business and followed his passion, writing. His ongoing study of Buddhism has given him a sense of truth and clarity.”