The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*CK

Sunday, March 10, 2019

This was my first Audible book. I had been reluctant to adhere to this modern trend as I simply love reading and looking at a book, touching and smelling it. To me, physically holding a book is a world of its own and cannot be replaced by neither Kindles nor their likes. This particular book had been recommended to me by more than one person and still, I was hesitating to read this manifesto, maybe especially because it was best selling.. Yeah. I don't like to follow trends. In any case, and in one of those moments where I simply decide to do something without thinking too much more about it, I just downloaded the book using one of my free credits and started listening while driving in the traffic. To those who have been in traffic in Lebanon, you surely know that it can get pretty much packed, and not as atrocious as the ones you might experience in Munich, Hong Kong or Dubai.

The sub-title already caught my attention: "A counterintuitive approach to living a good life". Hmm. Why not. Let's hear this man out. The title gives a vulgar impression but then again, life has shown me in so many different ways that there is always more to something than the book cover. And in such, this self-help book is not really one. Well at least, not like the conventional ones that one can see at any bookstore. Using crude language - I have to admit I was surprised to see the book on shelves in several bookstores in Lebanon and even once at a supermarket, when other less provocative titles are usually not displayed so publicly - the author inspires the reader / listener to go after what really matters to one and to be self aware of one's fears and expectations. "Let's be honest," Manson says. "Sometimes things are fucked up and we have to live with it. [...] Once we embrace our fears, faults and uncertainties - once we stop running from and avoiding, and start confronting painful truths - we can begin to find the courage and confidence we desperately seek." This is actually exhilarating. To prioritize according to one's values and not to care about what matters less to each one of us. Brilliant!

In brief, and as the author clarifies it, not giving a f*ck is not about not becoming indifferent. It is more about assessing one's values because we do always have a choice in responding to a certain situation, be it at work or in our personal lives. Once we do, we become capable of discerning what really and deeply matters to us and what is less significant. And then it becomes easier to grasp that pain is part of the process, that we become free through commitment and that accepting ourselves and re-questioning one's self to go beyond who we are is a mere way to keep growing. This is a way to open our eyes to better (self)sight, to appreciate the simple things in life and to be resilient... I remember that when I heard "This is Roger Wayne. We hope you have enjoyed this unabridged production of ...." I felt that I wanted to hear more and that time had flown so fast. Too fast for my taste. Well, at least I had been unaware of the time spent in traffic and the general idea that stuck with me was the essence of Manson's message: "Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems, you get a better life". I will definitely keep that in mind the next time I get upset about something secondary in my life...

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