A very insightful book that I would encourage everyone to read whether you are currently feeling happy or not. I enjoyed reading Bertrand Russell’s take on happiness more especially because it was written in the 1930s and allowed me to draw parallels between then and now.
I would say not very much has changed, however it is very clear that women had a certain ‘place’ in society at the time e.g. if they got married they were expected to leave work and bear children. Bertrand is rather forward thinking for the time as he expresses the view that he doesn’t think that is at all necessary. He states that a child of nine months can very easily be passed on to someone that specializes in child care allowing the mother to pursue her career and other hobbies.
I will probably write a few blogs this year related to this book but in advance of that below are a few of my favorite Bertrand thoughts, I paraphrase in most cases:
If something comes so easily the pleasure, I find, is less intense and fleets by quite rapidly. “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” It gives you something to work towards, it gives you a reason to wake up in the morning.
Please note that the kindle versions below are a "modern-day interpretation". The actual book is not currently available on the kindle store.
That said, this statement can be applied quite effectively to less developed countries where credit does remain scarce and hard to come by.
The only annoying thing about this book is that it is only available as a paper copy and as all my friends will know, I read all my books on my phone nowadays. It’s much more convenient because it’s portable, it’s quick and easy to find definitions or to highlight interesting words and phrases. In summary: buy.
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Time allowing, I love to read. If I read anything interesting, I will blog about it here.
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