Sunday, 26 February 2012


If I were ever to publish a Life Advice book (and I would avoid calling it a “self-help” book, since I want to make it clear that it is I that does the helping), it should contain a passage somewhat akin to the following:

It is often advised that difficulties are to be faced, as opposed to avoided. If you are a wimpy person (and I know many of my readers are), I recommend strictly against this. To wimpy people, difficulties are monstrous, immeasurable icebergs that admit no trespassing around, over, under or even through them. Facing them, attempting to stare them down like one’s arch-enemy, will only result in contracting hypothermia from the antarctic winds. Instead, dear reader, you should avoid making them part of your life as far as possible, whilst not falling prey to the dangerous temptation of denying their existence. This is the balancing act you must master: set your sail smoothly towards fresher waters, whilst keeping an awareness of the icy-blue obstacle at the rear of your consciousness; like a grain in one’s eye one can’t get rid of, or a pimple at the tip of one’s nose one must not extinguish.
Luckily, I have no plans to publish any such work.