42: Deep Thought on Life by Mark Vernon

By Mark Vernon

Mark Vernon takes his concept from forty two of the funniest, wisest, and quirkiest quotations in regards to the enormous questions in lifestyles, and makes use of those as beginning issues for his magnificent observations. In each one bankruptcy he explains what the best thinkers of all time have needed to say on matters akin to everlasting existence, paintings, love and intercourse, and the character of happiness; he attracts his personal conclusions, and may impress you to imagine deeply your self!

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Having plenty of money, he doesn’t just grab a sandwich on the way to work or fish’n’chips on the way home. He eats very well; in fancy coffee bars in the morning, pleasant diners at lunchtime and smart restaurants by night. One day, as a result of an unusual away-day, concocted by his senior manager to nurture thinking ‘out of the box’, he found himself in a monastery. The morning and afternoon were filled with seminars and sessions, of which my friend remembers little. But what he does recall was the food: not because it was fancy nor because it was foul but because he paid attention to it.

Perhaps Manya, as the first generation to have no direct memories of the pain, did not feel the fear that her father seemed to when the Turkish border was in prospect. ’ told us. ‘My great-grandmother died on the way and my great-uncle was shot. I will teach my children the story and take them to Deir ez Zor’ (the eastern town on the Euphrates where a cathedral has been erected to commemorate the two million who died). We stopped off first at Mushabbak which, as Howard Butler said, in his Early Churches in Syria, fourth to seventh centuries, is one of the most perfectly preserved of all the many Byzantine basilicas in the region.

However, praiseworthiness does not always receive the praise it deserves. Moreover, at work, say, that which is praised may have little to do with praiseworthiness. For in a world defined by commerce and competition, delivery merits the attention; at work, people are remunerated for what they do, not who they are; qualities that might make someone praiseworthy are likely simply to be ignored or take second place. Hence the problem of alienation at work: it can make you very unhappy. The compulsions of consumerism, the calculatedness of costbenefit analysis and the ambivalent virtues of social cooperation.

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