This week, I finished Donald Robertson’s new book How To Think Like a Roman Emperor. And, what a remarkable book it is.
It succeeds in being a practical introduction to Stoicism whilst combining biography, history, psychotherapy and philosophy. Each chapter uses a period in Marcus’s life to illustrate an issue, for example, conquering desire or relinquishing fear. It describes Marcus’s situation, then demonstrates Stoic exercises that deal with the topic in question.
The result is both engaging and practical. It takes you beyond a “words to live by” approach and towards a Stoic routine and practice.
I had the Ladybird Book of the Soldier when I was little, but lately, the little hardback books have enjoyed a resurgence. First came satire (The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis, anyone?) but now proper, grown-up topics.
Nicholas Bate offers essential advice on finding time to read:
1.Always read for 30 minutes before any Netflix viewing.
3.Read for 20 minutes before settling to sleep.
5.Take a couple of real books on the business trip. Read in line, on the transfer bus, in Starbucks, while waiting for buddies in the lobby to get the uber to the conference.
In this language, no industrial revolution; no pasteurized milk; no oxygen, no telephone; only sheep, fish, horses, water falling. The middle class can hardly speak it. In this language, no flush toilet; you stumble through dark and rain with a handful of rags. The door groans; the old smell comes up from under the earth to meet you.
In reality, only a minority of students take part in the more egregious sorts of disorder that “The Coddling” documents. In the spectrum of threats to Western democracy, cock-eyed campus politics may not entirely deserve the attention it attracts.
Maybe, I can still find a little space …
Thoughts on staying sane as an independent professional in a world of chaos and entitlement.