“When we learn how easily self-interest may make black white and white black, we feel obliged to examine more closely our own most passionately held opinions of the moment to ensure that they are not the product of self-deception and self-interest…(freedom and moral responsibility are anxiety-provoking)…

Sarah Bakewell’s book   How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer offers her “ways to list” influenced by the Montaigne’s life.  She summarizes:

  1. Don’t worry about death
  2. Pay attention
  3. Be born
  4. Read a lot, forget most of what you read and be slow-witted
  5. Use little tricks
  6. Survive love and loss
  7. Question everything
  8. Keep a private room behind the shop
  9. Be convivial with others
  10. Wake from the sleep of habit
  11. Live temperately
  12. Guard your humanity
  13. See the world
  14. Do something no one has done before
  15. Do a good job, but not too good a job
  16. Philosophize only by accident
  17. Reflect on everything. Regret nothing
  18. Give up control
  19. Be ordinary and imperfect
  20. Let life be its own answer

At center is the always present need and invitation to look for ways to be rational in an increasingly irrational time.

Peace and Courage,


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