Though I was already familiar with the work of the School of Life I had little knowledge of the work of Alain De Botton. As part of my research I read his book ‘The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work’, watched his documentary on status anxiety, and watched a large portion of his talks and videos available online. I think it’s fair to say my perspective has changed on a number of different issues.
His critique of Romanticism has opened my eyes to how disconnected our expectations are of love, to the reality of relationships. I’ve always had the mentality that love is a binary emotion, and it is this that dictates weather or not a relationship is successful. After watching his talks and listening to his podcasts on the topic I’ve since changed my mind.
Alain De Botton has also stressed the importance of self-knowledge and self love if we are ever to form meaningful relationships and create meaningful work. I was previously self conscious that these were these were the selfish indulgences of the spoilt millennial; I had no grasp that they were the foundation of a healthy society.
Furthermore, his insistence that ‘Being a little casual with a great thinker is the biggest homage one could pay to him or her’ has introduced me to the field of philosophy, something that previously appeared omniscient and insurmountable.