Finished: The School of Life: An Emotional Education
by Alain De Botton. Last week I said the School of Life YouTube channel was better than their books. Naturally, I then read ‘the’ School of Life book. It turns out the videos use parts of this book word-for-word as a script. And the this book is great.
There are no answers prescribed in this book, only musings about the nature of our emotions, where they may come from, and what our best course of action may be, with emphasis on the ‘may’. The result is a light, enjoyable walk through the human mind. There are no action steps, but I did find certain parts of this book had a calming effect on certain anxieties. Things just click.
Here’s an example, about what may make a person interesting:
The interesting person isn’t someone to whom obviously and out weirdly interesting things have happened, someone who has traveled the world, met important dignitaries or been present at critical geo political events. Nor is it someone who speaks in learned terms about the great themes of culture, history, or science. They are someone who has grown into an attentive, self-aware listener and a reliable correspondent of their own mind and heart, and who can thereby give us faithful accounts of the pathos, drama, and strangeness of being them.
The gift of being interesting is neither exclusive nor reliant on exceptional talent; it requires only honesty and focus. The person we call interesting is in essence someone alive to what we all want from social intercourse: an uncensored glimpse of what life looks like through the eyes of another person and reassurance that we are not entirely alone with all that feels most bewildering, peculiar, and frightening in us.