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  • One of the characteristic flaws of our minds is to exaggerate how fragile we might be;

  • to assume that life would be impossible far earlier than it in fact would be. We imagine

  • that we could not live without a certain kind of income or status or health; that it would

  • be a disaster not to have a certain kind of relationship, house or job. This natural tendency

  • of the mind is constantly stoked by life in commercial society, which adds to our sense

  • of the number of things that should be considered Necessities rather than Luxuries. This kind

  • of society goes to extraordinary lengths to get us to feel that we really do need to go

  • skiing once a year, to have heated car seats, to fly in Business, to own the same kind of

  • watch as a famous conductor and a jumbo-sized fridge, and to lay claim to lots of friends,

  • perfectly muscular health and a loving, kind, sex-filled relationship. In fact, our core

  • needs are much simpler than all this. We could in fact manage perfectly well enough with a lot less.

  • Not just around possessions but across every aspect of our lives. It's not that

  • we should want to: it's simply that we could. We could cope quite well with being rather

  • poor, not being very popular, not having a very long life and with living alone. We could

  • even, to put the extreme instance forward, cope with being dead; it happens all the time.

  • But we forget our resilience in the face of the risks we face. The cumulative effect of

  • our innocence is to make us timid. Our lives become dominated by a fear of losing, or never

  • getting, things which we could (in fact) do perfectly well without. The ancient Roman

  • philosopher Seneca had great success running what we would now call a venture capital firm.

  • He owned beautiful villas and magnificent furniture. But he made a habit of regularly

  • sleeping on the floor of an outhouse and eating only stale bread and drinking lukewarm water.

  • He was reminding himself that it wouldn't ever be so bad to lose pretty much everything

  • so as to free himself of nagging worries of catastrophe. The realisation gave him great

  • confidence. He never worried so much about what might happen if a deal went wrong because,

  • at the very worst, he'd only be back on the kitchen floor next to the dog basket,

  • which wasin the scheme of thingsOK. Seneca was initiating an important move. By

  • continually renewing our acquaintance with our own resiliencethat is, with our ability

  • to manage even if things go badly (getting sacked, a partner walking out, a scandal that

  • destroys our social life, an illness) – we can be braver because we grasp that the dangers

  • we face are almost never as great as our skittish imaginations tend to suggest. In the Utopia,

  • our culture would stop continually presenting us with rags to riches stories. It would instead

  • do something far kinderand, incidentally, far more conducive to the kind of courageous,

  • entrepreneurial optimism our societies currently ineptly try to foster. Our culture would be

  • continually presenting us with charming non-tragic tales of riches to rags stories, stories in

  • which people lost money, partners and social standing but ended up coping really rather

  • well with their new lives. We'd see them moving out of the penthouse into a humble

  • cottage and having really rather a nice time tending to a small flower-bed and discovering

  • tinned food. Our culture would not be recommending such scenarios, just lessening the grip upon

  • us of certain deep but misplaced fears that so often hold us back from trying and succeeding.

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One of the characteristic flaws of our minds is to exaggerate how fragile we might be;

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B1 中級

レジリエンス (Resilience)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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