Beta Reader Feedback on Do Better: Ch.6 is Gone…

        Update: -major changes have been made, & I have removed chapter 6, so please comment here if you wish to be a Beta Reader, and I will send you the latest draft (now down by 1k+ words

from draft 5…).   -Shira, Tues, 17 May ’22 




Draft 6 is now ready. Comment here for a copy.


Update for those who may be reading the 5th draft:  I have made edits to both the Preface and the Introduction, after having finished the Beta Reader changes below.  As of Wednesday, May 7th, I have made edits, up to p. 139, of the 5th draft.   -Shira


        I am looking at the feedback from three readers, thus far, and starting to put the comments together in terms of what I will change in the 5th draft of Do Better.  

   I still need suggestions on a book cover and/or logo for Project Do Better,  and another Beta Reader or two, if they can give feedback in 2 weeks, would be most welcome, but for now, I am done compiling and updating for the comments I’ve gotten, and am beginning my own next edit.

(ps: as I see that the 5th draft post is getting to be long in the comments, Beta Readers, please feel free to start leaving feedback in comments on this post, if you prefer…):

Title & ToC:

     While  I like the current title (“Project Do Better: A Kindness Manifesto in Four Phases“), I agree that if equity seems to be the gist of this book, then perhaps a better way of expressing that should be worked into this title, if necessary.  However, the catch is that this book is not really about equity, in my view.  It’s about every person being assured of having at least enough.  Equity would be nice, but I doubt that it is possible.  

                         So, maybe: Project Do Better: A Safety for All Manifesto? –done

Each and every human being having enough food, water, basic private shelter, health care, and access to education, however, is absolutely possible.

   Kindness, built through empathy over these phases, I believe can get us there, and further.

    So, how do we craft a title that expresses this?

Table of Contents:

Also: what about changing the title of Chapter One to “Dreaming vs. Engineering”   -Chapter 1’s subtitle could be changed to: “Introduction to the layout of this book”  ??

Points from Readers:

   Masha:    -P. 9 change from “Backup Bedsit” to ‘other safe shelter, and community support’ with a name that is short enough to make sense and be catchy…  (done)

   Brigidt:  -leave Backup Bedsit as is for lack of better word… (done as added note…)

    Violet:  -Noting that this project is not entirely chronological, the book, once released, will be available to communities in editable format for those who wish to rewrite or rearrange sections as a guidebook for their particular communities.  Thus, a chronological arrangement of chapters is entirely possible, for those communities who want to use sections or use this book as a baseline for their community’s part of this project.


Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how kindness (and story…) can help build equity, or not, and lead to safe housing for each and every person.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, La Casa De Papel/Money Heist, & Lupin & Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.


Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


84 thoughts on “Beta Reader Feedback on Do Better: Ch.6 is Gone…

        1. Did you notice Parts I (Dreaming) and II (Engineering), while you were reading, at all? I added them to the Table of Contents quite late, and didn’t think to update references to ‘earlier chapters’ versus ‘later chapters’ where the vision is laid out, vs. the implementation detail. Do you think it makes any difference?

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I did notice the headings in the table of contents, but when I started reading they confused me a bit. For me, structurewise, I would expect Part I come before Chapter 1. It was not completely clear to me, why you had Part I and Part II, but I wanted to read on first, and later I forgot about the two headings, sorry!
            I did not miss any cross references between chapters, actually, I think there were quite a few. The project builds up so fine, culminating in chapters 8-10 plus the summary in chapter 11.

            Liked by 3 people

    1. Good point: I had not considered this when drafting the book, but it may be a detail that merits mention in Part II (Engineering).
      Which reminds me, that I may want to change refs to “chapters 6-10” to “Part II”…

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Very good point, and rather surprising that some states considered to be ‘liberal’ could have such an erroneous set of real-life votes, in terms of approving a measure that could easily result in real and avoidable harm, while refusing to allow drivers who are clearly employees to obtain the benefits due by law to employees.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Chapter 10 appears to be missing this:

      “a condo per baby can start with one baby being given a unit by a
      donor of good heart, and one baby at a time becomes one town at a time, as we match rooms to
      babies, and see how the rotation of units builds a new type of bond, from generation to
      generation. A condo donor database might be a first step in facilitating this.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. & this:

        “it is crucial that these units be given
        freely, either by state or federal governments which find themselves in excess of built space,
        since this is in fact a public good, or far better, by private donors finding themselves with an
        overabundance of homes, and glad to give to the common good. Much like leaving a house to
        Howard University, as one of my grandfather’s relatives did, leaving property to the Bedsit Per
        Baby database could come to be seen as the highest level of philanthropy. “

        Liked by 2 people

        1. This is actually Phase III, and so would belong in either chapter 4, or chapter 9. Being a suggestion/Vision/Dream, it should go, it seems, in the Part I (Dreaming) section: chapter 4.


          Liked by 3 people

  1. Hi Shira,

    I am now up to page 150 of Project Do Better and have some feedback. You know I am wholeheartedly supportive of what you are aiming for. Unfortunately though, I have found the book quite hard to follow. Maybe it’s just me, but I would prefer a more chronological, step-by-step explanation. ie Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 etc, Conclusion. So chapter 1 would be everything about public transport. Chapter 2 would be everything about free education. Chapter 3 would be everything about free healthcare, and so on. After reading those chapters, we would understand what all those things are and how they could be achieved. Then you could have a chapter explaining the timelines of all the phases (perhaps with a diagram) and how you can make it happen. I would also like a separate chapter to explain the Service Adults.

    As it is at the moment, I feel like I’m reading in circles, getting to a new chapter and thinking – haven’t I already read this? Dipping into the same concepts just enough to get a vague idea of what you’re saying, before moving on again to another one, and then coming back to them again in the next chapter.

    I think this is an extremely ambitious project, as I have said before, and this makes me wonder why you don’t believe equity is possible. If you think this is possible, why not compassion and equity across the board? My feeling is that this cannot go hand-in-hand with capitalism. Capitalism is the reason for exploitation and abuse. Of people and animals. With a project as bold and brave as this one – why not seek to end capitalism and the use of money? See Mark Boyle, Moneyless Man.
    You might say – “that’s impossible, people won’t go for that” and I would sadly agree. But I also think that unless we end capitalism, we won’t be able to achieve project do better.

    One other thing that I wonder about is each child having their own bedsit for a safe place to run. Will its location be kept secret from the child’s parents? If so, how will the child know where it is? Perhaps you have answered this question in the second half of the book 😀 xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Violet: Let me get back to your full comments here shortly, but for the moment, I’m confused: when did I say that I thought equity was not possible?

      I do believe that equity is possible, but I think that it will take some setting up and alot of work to get there, so it just won’t happen overnight.
      Ok, more shortly!

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Ah, yes: the project objective is to get every person safely housed, and that is not equity, but rather, “enough” for all, to start with. Equity would be every one of us having 5 or 6 houses, right, rather than some having 10 or more mansions, while others sleep on the streets, no?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I just thought equity meant fairness. So I would call “enough for all” fairness (as long as no one had more than they need). I obviously caught a snippet of your conversation with the other commenter without reading it all, ha ha 😀 xx

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ah! Ok, also, the word “equity,” here in the US among some people, has taken on a meaning more similar to “equality, or a level playing field” rather than just being fair. But even then, I personally don’t see it as fair that a man who inherited his wealth can have 10 mansions while a person born poor must struggle to have one stable roof overhead. Neither would it be fair for a person who refused to contribute to have a mansion if a flat will do perfectly well, when a hard working artist must make do with a smelly bedsit, if that makes sense?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I don’t disagree. We are saying the same thing. Fairness is everyone contributing in accordance with their own skills and abilities, and everyone getting what they need and no more. Well, perhaps a little more – maybe some chocolate 😉 xxx


            3. Yes, Fair Trade dark chocolate is a need!
              xxx 🙂 Maybe even a bit for those who don’t contribute as much as some of us would like them to?

              I’ve been accused of being a bit harsh on my students, back when I was in the classroom…

              I don’t know, though, about getting no more than what you need, unless you make sure to include emotional needs: many people need esteem, prestige, etc, and those who work harder should indeed get more than those who lay about watching TV, imho. Yet no on should suffer needlessly, nor even suffer, if possible. Every person should receive “the fruits of their labor” or “the works of her hands” as the psalm says, and I think that the Free Rider problem is a valid concern -never would I deny any person the basics of human dignity, yet, to demand more without contributing is just as unfair as to deny more to those who work harder, no?
              (yes, there is a problem with this in defining “work” and “harder” vs. merit and the problems of assigning higher value to certain types of work, or to putting in more hours when one is younger, and more able to do so vs. tired and less able when one is older, but still…)

              Liked by 2 people

            4. Yes 😀 I believe that is what I said – “everyone contributing in accordance with their own skills and abilities, and everyone getting what they need”. xxx

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Yes, at a minimum. But the need for fulfillment must be taken into account as well, and that is different for each person. I do not begrudge a person who needs more space than I do, but I do fault the one who claims that a person sleeping on the street “is in his comfort zone” and has chosen to be there. If people build tools ceaselessly, work, strive, and place themselves in harms way for the rest of us, then I think an extra flat might be in order, especially if some of them need to stay in different places for that service, like live in one city, serve in another city for some months at a time. Enough flexibility needs to be built into the system to allow for that.

              Liked by 2 people

            6. Yes 😀 I do believe that is what I said 😀 – everyone contributes if they can, and everyone gets what they need. But no one should have more than one house. xxx

              Liked by 1 person

      1. ” It’s about every person being assured of having at least enough. Equity would be nice, but I doubt that it is possible. ”

        Equity, where all have the equivalent of what each other person has, would likely require a vast redistribution of wealth, which is not likely to happen any time soon, given how accustomed people have become to seeing greed and selfishness as both normal and necessary.
        But with time, equity can become possible.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. ” I would also like a separate chapter to explain the Service Adults. ”
      There is:
      chapter 8.

      I do believe that equity is possible: where did I say/imply that it’s not? Please tell me the page so that I can fix that ASAP!

      My thesis dealt with much of what Boyle covers, and I agree, in part, that current “Big Box” capitalism as implemented does encourage much of this situation, but change needs to happen in planned stages in order to prevent needless suffering, and to get there from here is more than one person like myself can address.

      I’ve looked at the hiding address issue, and I think I mentioned this in a later chapter, as I do recall worrying about it and thinking of a partial solution via Community Buddy systems for kids, but that is not covered much until Phase III, in the Engineering section (so, chapter 9).

      Let me chew some more on your feedback, Violet.
      I think or hope that the additional visibility of Parts I and II I’ve recently added (May 4th, mentioned in the Beta Feedback post pinned above this one) will help. What you are suggesting is a complete re-write of the book, which I’d be happy for communities who wish to do that to do, if they feel it’s more accessible for them, but for now, I’ve got to get this out there so that they can take up the baton and do that.
      Before I keel over.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. As I said, I am only half way through the book but you seemed to urgently want the feedback so I wrote some. I realise that my feedback may not be fair given that the later chapters I haven’t yet read may answer the points I made – as you say. If and when that is the case, please ignore my comments. I really do feel, though, that it is a lot wordier than it needs to be xxx

        Liked by 2 people

    3. I remember now: the project itself is not chronological.

      Any community can start on any part of Phase I, or even on parts of other phases, if the community wants to, out of order. The parts of Phase I all need to be worked on at the same time, though, because one won’t work without the other. That’s why I chose to explain the engineering part of it separately from the dreaming, but that only makes sense to me because that is how I think, so others may decide to choose a specific path, and write their own version of Do Better for Community A, once I publish this version and offer the editable version to communities who want it (that’s in chapter 7, I believe).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Maybe chronological was the wrong word. What I meant was, I would have preferred separate chapters to explain each element in detail, including how to implement it, so that when I got to the chapters about phases, I would be able to picture what was happening. At the moment a lot of it seems quite abstract to me. Eg if it is still a capitalist system, and people need to earn their living, how will there be enough people with enough time to volunteer, eg to teach and be service adults? What is a service adult? And who would volunteer to be one if they have to go through a gruelling qualification process? Again – if you explain these things in the later chapters, please ignore the questions 😀 xxxx


        1. Ah! Ok, now I see: yes, that is another reason that I have just edited (last week) the ToC to clarify Part I vs. Part II. Alot of people want to see everything explained up front, but then I can’t separate out the Vision/Dream from the implementation, so other people call it utopian.

          Chapter 8, in particular, explains how more people will have more time to volunteer, and why anyone would be crazy enough to undergo this grueling process (like me, perhaps? if a community will have me?).


          But it is good to see these questions now, and I really appreciate your feedback. I’ve updated earlier chapters a bit, so I think they are a bit less wordy, but I saw that last week, too: I’ve just been so tired that I had to prioritize getting the main idea down on paper before going back to cut away the excess of those early drafts. I always start off too verbose in my rough drafts, and have to carve out the image hidden in the marble, as Michaelangelo said (though my work is no work of art, mind you, I’m not claiming to be at his level, merely following his process).

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ha ha ha 😀 Me too.

            Okay, I guess I didn’t need the dream bit because I’d already had so many conversations with you, so I was just looking for the instruction manual. But I see why the book needs it and I think you could have the dream part as the introduction, and then the chapters explain how to make the dream a reality.

            I’m sorry if I’ve commented too early. It’s not fair to you when I’m only half way thru. It’s just that it’s taking me so long to read and I thought you urgently wanted some feedback. xxx

            Liked by 1 person

            1. 🙂 No worries, it helps to have these conversations, as well, I think, if others read the comments, as the process is just as important as the result: communities need to see how we arrived at this point, and how to progress in a fully participatory fashion, and this is part of the process, as long as others read it!

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Ok, stop the presses, don’t read any further: I’m editing chapters 8 and 9 now. Quick question for you: what do you think about chapter 6 -should I keep it or remove it?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Actually Shira, after our earlier conversation, it occurred to me that what you really need to do is take a break from it. I’m the same with my stuff, in a hurry to get it published and then when I re-read it later I find loads of things I need to fix. When you’re writing it, your head is so full of it, reading it and re-reading it, that you can no longer be objective. Step back from it. Don’t look at it for at least six months, preferably a year. And then, when you do read it again, your mind will be fresh and you will be able to see what to keep, what to delete, and what to rearrange. This is a long-term project. Holding off for another year won’t matter. It’s just one year. More important to get it right. Right for you. So that you are happy with it. You can’t please everybody so don’t try to. Make it right for you. I’m sorry if I was over-critical. I just rushed my feedback because I thought you were in a hurry for it. Take a break from it and clear your head. xxxx

              Liked by 1 person

            4. No, you were not at all over-critical: your feedback reminded me that the format is as important as the content. I suddenly realized that this is not at all what I’d do with one of my stories, so I decided to look at the text that way, and it helps tremendously. But I also need to get it to a point where communities can take it up as a baseline for their own manuals, which needs it needs an ISBN so that I can put it up on GR, etc. That’s my Catch-22. I agree with you that my first reader was certainly rushing me, back in November, to get this out, but there is still a fine line between perfecting it, and keeping it in my own hands too long. I need to have it done so that I can find someone to help me with this project as soon as possible, which is more likely if it is published.

              Liked by 2 people

            5. Wow, looking at it from the beginning, I see what you mean about the redundancies! Ok, I’ve cut chapter 6 entirely, and am searching out the redundant parts, so this draft is turning out to be more of a re-write.

              Liked by 2 people

Please Share your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s