The Importance of Living

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Design a Simple Life

Here was a genteel, mandarin manner of approaching the world — one that surely was swept away in the violent storms of the Cultural Revolution twenty years earlier? And yet, amid the vandalized Buddhist temples, the crumbling hutongs of back Beijing alleyways, and the concrete midrise apartment complexes in whose shadow they cowered — amid prominent Party proclamations that citizens must strive for more production and efficiency, amid the surge for modernization and industrialization — amid all of this, I captured glimpses of what came before.


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Atop Tai Shan, small shrubs with large rocks crammed into their branches and crannies were evidence of a centuries-long folk belief that good luck and enhanced fertility for this soon-to-be-siblingless society would surely follow. High in the monasteries of Hua Shan, robed Taoist monks performed their quotidian duties, some of them not having bothered to descend into the valley for thirty years or more, ignoring the Revolution below. Lin Yutang and his The Importance of Living belong to this time before. And the relevance persists. Surely a perennial philosophical concern. How should I live my life?

And why would I now reread this book, twenty years later, forty pounds heavier — a husband, a divorced and remarried father and stepfather, a busy professional with a career to attend to, a monotonous and sometimes soul-crushing daily and weekly schedule, a house, cars, lawn, retirement investments to maintain, PTA meetings, community association functions, and no time for much of anything? He is a good-natured Renaissance Man, dabbling here and there, connoisseur of nothing, dilettante extraordinaire.

The Importance Of Living In The Moment

He is earthbound, a man of his biology and of his senses. So much in this book is charmingly anachronistic. Lin is a product of his time and place. His eulogies on the smoking life point to the quiet, meditative nature of this particular vice. His views on women are condescending and sexist, although his obvious intent is always to be appreciative and respectful. My beloved literature professor died several years ago, at a venerable age.

MORE IN LIFE

I think of him often. Your complimentary articles. You can read four articles free per month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please. A beloved literature professor gave me a nice hardbound edition of this book during my undergraduate days in the spring of I read it that summer. The following spring I found myself studying in China, traveling around the north, climbing the Taoist holy mountains Hua Shan and Tai Shan, visiting the tomb and family mansions of Confucius, and thinking quite a bit about this book.

Here, in essay form, were simple lessons for living.

Michael Savage - The Importance Of Living

Here was a genteel, mandarin manner of approaching the world — one that surely was swept away in the violent storms of the Cultural Revolution twenty years earlier? And yet, amid the vandalized Buddhist temples, the crumbling hutongs of back Beijing alleyways, and the concrete midrise apartment complexes in whose shadow they cowered — amid prominent Party proclamations that citizens must strive for more production and efficiency, amid the surge for modernization and industrialization — amid all of this, I captured glimpses of what came before.

The importance of living in the present and not the past — Exploring your mind

Atop Tai Shan, small shrubs with large rocks crammed into their branches and crannies were evidence of a centuries-long folk belief that good luck and enhanced fertility for this soon-to-be-siblingless society would surely follow. High in the monasteries of Hua Shan, robed Taoist monks performed their quotidian duties, some of them not having bothered to descend into the valley for thirty years or more, ignoring the Revolution below. Lin Yutang and his The Importance of Living belong to this time before.

And the relevance persists. Surely a perennial philosophical concern.

The Importance of the Standard of Living

How should I live my life? And why would I now reread this book, twenty years later, forty pounds heavier — a husband, a divorced and remarried father and stepfather, a busy professional with a career to attend to, a monotonous and sometimes soul-crushing daily and weekly schedule, a house, cars, lawn, retirement investments to maintain, PTA meetings, community association functions, and no time for much of anything?

He is a good-natured Renaissance Man, dabbling here and there, connoisseur of nothing, dilettante extraordinaire.


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