Filled with amazing people

Alan Stewart and I have been having a wonderful conversation. He sent me this link to an interview with Theodore Zeldin, a professor at Cambridge, a professor of happiness, no less!

Here is some of what I wrote to Alan about this interview:

From the interview:

“we have got to rethink advertising too. Because the question we are asking is, is it true what people are saying to us? And we are asking that people should be honest with each other.”


“In the past we wanted to survive, we were talking about happiness as a form of contentment, we were talking about prosperity and now we want much more. To be rich is not enough. We want what money cannot buy.”


“Now people are interested in the quality of your life, not in how much money you earn. And it’s more important how you spend your money than how much you earn or what you earn.”

One of the things I keep asking myself is how to get the word out about conversation? This guy may just have a way in his way of speaking: he is talking as if what he was selling was already the predominantway of thinking in the Western world. (It probably is–people just haven’t focused on it yet.) This kind of friendly, jocular way might be one way….

“And the world is filled with amazing people.”

Yes! The stuff of reality, that! A bit of divinity here and there!

“And I find enormous satisfaction in discovering other people.”

Another way of getting conversation going! Find out what’s interesting and surprising about anyone.

His idea of curiosity is a new emphasis to me. I want to explore it more. How about you? How do you understand curiosity? Is it not the stuff of G?d in our world?

So how about his dinners for 40 idea? Would that help get conversations started? I think of his questions and of the ones suggested by Thomas Merton: What do you live for? What gets in your way of living that life?

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on October 11th, 2005 | No Comments »

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