Alain de Botton

Switzerland
Born on 20 Dec 1969
Writer / Philosopher

The Unbearable Truth

Confident that cast-iron walls separate our nature and situation from theirs, comfortable in the well-broken-in saddle of our high horse, we have exchanged our capacity to be tolerant for detachment and derision.
It is the tragedian's task, then, to force us to confront an almost unbearable truth: every folly or myopia of which any human being in history has been guilty may be traced back to some aspect of our collective nature. Because we each bear within ourselves the whole of the human condition, in its worst and best aspects, any one of us might be capable of doing anything at all, or nothing, under the right or rather the most horribly wrong conditions.

Alain de Botton, in 'Status Anxiety'
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Status Anxiety

Alain de Botton

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays