Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feeling good about ourselves

Montaigne proposed that we should accept our bodies with a touch of good grace and humour. He said that we are all half animals. Interestingly, he knew a man who committed suicide after making several farts in public, another who wanted to be buried in his underpants because he was ashamed of his genitals and another woman who was too afraid to chew in public that she always had to eat behind a curtain. He believed that if we all learned how to accept ourselves and adopt a more open attitude towards our bodies, we could live more happily. He also encouraged people to travel more in order to discard their prejudices towards other cultures. It was endearing to learn how much pity he took in the Indians that were tortured by the Spanish explorers during his time. 

Montaigne acknowledged that a lot of people are often belittled and feel inadequate by the limitations of their knowledge. Alain de Botton, a British philosopher and Cambridge graduate, debated that there is a problem in our examination system that rewards learning rather than wisdom. To him, learning is the paler shadow of wisdom. 

Biggest take away: Even for the person who sits on the highest throne, he still sits on his arse.

So stop feeling inferior or worse still, superior to other people. We are all humans and God sees us each as positively special in His own way!

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