11 September 2019
Recently, I bought a delightful book in a second-hand bookshop entitled, ‘A Christmas Sermon’. It was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and is a piercing reflection on life and the art of living.
At one point, he talks about people being dissatisfied with life and argues that it ‘springs in some degree from dullness’. They would rather be doing something consequential and significant instead of recognising the heroic qualities necessary just to live a good life.
‘To be honest, to be kind – to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make, upon the whole, a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends … above all, to keep friends with himself – here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.’