10 commandments/virtues for secular folk

10 commandments/virtues for secular folk

Really like Alain de Botton’s 10 commandments for atheists/secular humanists below! These are not so much dictates but virtues that are worth cultivating in order to live a good life. I have articulated a similar list on numerous occasions, of qualities that I look for in friends and partners. If you live a good life in which you respect yourself, practice awareness and strive for growth then you’ll be a richer person. If you combine this with patience, respect and empathy as well then you’ll have a higher capacity for contributing to the lives of others. The two together is a good recipe for a happy, content, well lived life in which you have meaningful connections with others.

The below text is from a social media post by the Sydney Writers Festival.

“Alain de Botton, the philosopher and writer, has published a new version of the 10 commandments – for atheists. He calls it his “list for life” – have a read through it (below) and let us know what you think…

1.Resilience: Keeping going even when things are looking dark.
2.Empathy: The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.
3.Patience: We should grow calmer and more forgiving by being more realistic about how things actually happen.
4.Sacrifice: We won’t ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don’t keep up with the art of sacrifice.
5.Politeness: Politeness is closely linked to tolerance, the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, cannot avoid.
6.Humour: Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it is disappointment optimally channelled.
7.Self-awareness: To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one’s troubles and moods; to have a sense of what’s going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.
8.Forgiveness: It’s recognising that living with others is not possible without excusing errors.
9.Hope: Pessimism is not necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.
10.Confidence: Confidence is not arrogance – rather, it is based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we will ultimately lose from risking everything.

(Here’s a link to the full story)

Photo of Alain de Botton (on a visit to Melbourne) by Craig Abraham/The Age”

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