Read it: The Art of Living
The Art of Living: Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus and Sharon Lebell.
The writings of Epictetus should be made mandatory for every university course of study. The Stoic school of thought offers baseline wisdom to help navigate safely through the rapidly changing terrain of life in this modern day of machine-led thinking and social machinations. The Art of Life is about the exceptional teachings of Epictetus, the Roman philosopher.
Despite being words that have come to us from thousands of years ago, it remains, like all great philosophical thought, relevant to contemporary life. Sharon Lebell has distilled the teachings of one of the greatest thinkers mankind has known into bite-sized chunks of easily digestible nuggets of wisdom that can be transmuted into daily action in everyday life.
Learning to distinguish between desire and virtuous living, learning to control our minds through reason and thinking, with clarity and purpose, the book is small to carry, easily readable, and speaks straight to the heart. Each page offers a different subject tackling, with simple clarity, how we may best tackle the daily, and often complex, rigours of the life we are born into.
Regardless of what our beliefs are or where we are on life’s journey, whether or not we are readers, or whether or not we think we have it all together, this book is a must-have. Truly life-changing and written with great empathy for the human condition, the lessons of Epictetus will resonate with everyone who picks up the book.
Reviewed by Sangeetha Shinde Tee.