The moral

The moral? To recognize that our best chance of contentment lies in taking up the wisdom offered to us in coded form through our coughs, allergies, social gaffes and emotional betrayals, and to avoid the ingratitude of those who blame the peas, the bores, the time and the weather.

~ Alaine De Botton

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Expanding our understanding

The lesson? To respond to the unexpected and hurtful behavior of others with something more than a wipe of the glasses, to see it as a chance to expand our understanding, even if, as Proust warns us, “when we discover the true lives of other people, the real world beneath the world of appearances, we get as many surprises as on visiting a house of plain exterior which inside is full of hidden treasure, torture-chambers or skeletons.”

~ Alain de Botton

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Unwholesome incarnations

There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or even lived in a way which was so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. But he shouldn’t regret this entirely, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as any of us can be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be reached.

~ Marcel Proust

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