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- For The School of Life, our single most important move is acceptance. There is no need - on top of everything else - to be anxious that we are anxious. Mood is no sign that our lives have gone wrong, merely that we are alive. A calm life isn’t one that’s always perfectly serene. It is one where we are committed to calming down more readily, where we strive for more realistic expectations; where we can understand better why certain problems are occurring, we can be adept at finding a consoling perspective. The progress is limited and imperfect, but genuine.
In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.
The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs - George Eliot, Middlemarch
Unexpected celebrities have in recent times included the likes of Captain Sully Sullenberger and Susan Boyle, whose years of patiently working on their own talents suddenly came good, shooting them instantly to international attention, and who then accepted the spotlight, perhaps reluctantly, but with quiet dignity nonetheless.
Is our great contemporary fear anonymity?
If the property that grounded the self in Romanticism was sincerity, and in modernism was authenticity, then in postmodernism is it visibility? So asked the writer of a thought-provoking article on our obsession with connectivity.
Is this what our contemporary selves really want? To be recognised, to be connected, to be visible, if not to the millions via, say, the X Factor, then at least to the hundreds, via Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn?
There can be no very black misery to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still - Henry David Thoreau
Silence never yet betrayed anyone - Antoine de Rivarol
Never explain - your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway - Elbert Hubbard