Is it time to unfriend social media?

‘Being online offers pleasures that demand little time and effort, when most of what is valuable requires a fair bit of both’

Is balance boring?

Conviction is overrated and the value of ‘knowing your own mind’ misunderstood

Should we love our children unconditionally?

‘The main quality you need to develop is compassion — for yourself and your child’

Are we optimists or pessimists?

‘Gloom is easily mistaken for intellectual depth. Have you ever seen a photo of a smiling existentialist?’

Should we ever delay the inevitable?

‘Sometimes it pays to take charge of a situation instead of just letting it run its course’

Is there sense in common sense?

‘We need to stop attempting to escape and to turn towards our experience’

How do we respect others’ choices?

‘True respect requires everyone to see others as capable of hearing criticisms and debating about them’

Should we be embarrassed?

It’s not just friends who can leave us red-faced but even compatriots who behave badly abroad

Is work good for us?

‘So interdependent is society that no one can claim to owe their affluence solely to their own talent or effort’

Must we get to the bottom of things?

‘Simply accepting that there are no ultimate grounds for anything looks like a cop-out’

How important is our environment?

‘If we have a tendency to run away from problems, we’d do well to question our motivation in seeking a change of scene’

Do we need metaphors?

‘Should we at least try to purge metaphor from rigorous disciplines such as philosophy, science and economics?’

Does an apology matter?

‘Far from being the hardest word, saying sorry is much easier than addressing the legacy of historical injustices’

Should we break our routines?

‘Excellence usually requires discipline and effort, and these are helped by the structures of routines’

Do our possessions define us?

‘The transitory nature of all things applies to partners as well as iPads’

How important in life is fun?

‘Having fun involves living in the moment without a care as to whether what you are enjoying is edifying’

Can we help the way we feel?

‘Exercising control over how we feel is more tenuous than we tend to believe’

Should we feel sorry for ourselves?

‘Developing compassion for ourselves may lead us to become more compassionate towards others’

How do we live with our mistakes?

‘We usually agonise more over the mistakes we know we have made than the bigger ones we might have made’

Can we lead a fulfilling life without children?

‘A genuine mistake is the idea that anything can complete a life and make it full’

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