Day 3 of the quote challenge. I was nominated by the fab Laurie from the great blog Meditations in Motion, where she writes very thoughtful on a range of subjects. When I started this challenge I wasn’t sure that I would mange it, but I think I have done ok. I think this was one of those instances where it has been good to try something new.
Here are the rules:
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Post a quote for three consecutive days.
- Nominate three bloggers each day to do the same
Todays nominations are:
- Blue Velvet Jacket – this is a thoughtful blog that covers a range of interesting things. She recently wrote this lovely post about a pair of pearl earrings as her ‘objects with meaning’, which I liked very much – get over there to have a read.
- LA of the blog Waking up the Wrong Side of 50 – I really like the witty posts on this blog, which are combined with some thoughtful posts on gratitude. A great read.
- Suzanne of the blog Being in Nature – I discovered this blog relatively recently and have really been enjoying her thoughts on ‘being in nature’.
Today I wanted to quote from the book Empathy: a handbook for the revolution by Roman Krznaric (which I think is now available under the far more boring title Empathy: why it matters and how to get it – I think I liked the other title better but there we are). It’s a long one, so bare with me…
‘The idea of collective empathy is especially relevant today because it counterbalances the highly individualistic focus of modern self help culture, which tends to view the search for happiness or wellbeing as a personal pursuit concerning our own ambitions and desires, rather than one that involved working with others towards common goals. Yet thinkers going back to Aristotle have recognised that we are social animals, and that joy and meaning in life grow, in good part, from being immersed in something larger than ourselves. Human beings thrive on ‘we’ as much as ‘me’.’
So I really liked this section in this book as it spoke very clearly to thoughts I have been having about the social mess our highly sophisticated society appears to have got itself into. While being quite introverted, and craving solitude on a frequent basis, I also believe that the work we put into building rich relationships with people close to us is an important foundation to wellbeing. In my day job I work in mental health research, and while I don’t want to get into reviewing the science here, there does seem to be a growing consensus that social isolation and loneliness are harmful to us. The job we have then, collectively, is to build a society that supports connection more that it supports commerce. I don’t think it is shopping that will set us free.