Alain De Botton Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Alain De Botton Quotes

#1. One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#2. Bowie Comeback Makes Top 10 Singles Chart 2.52M - Author: Alain De Botton
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#3. The largest part of what we call 'personality' is determined by how we've opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#4. As an atheist, I think there are lots of things religions get up to which are of value to non-believers - and one of those things is trying to be a bit better than we normally manage to be. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#5. It has provided not only physical but also psychological sanctuary. It has been a guardian of identity. Over the years, its owners have returned from periods away and, on looking around them, remembered who they were. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#6. Taking photographs can assuage the itch for possession sparked by the beauty of a place; our anxiety over losing a precious scene can decline with every click of the shutter. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#7. The essence of art is that its one case applies to thousands,' knew Schopenhauer. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#8. We will cease to be angry once we cease to be so hopeful. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#9. Watching crowds step off the escalators and onto the concourse, I thought it miraculous that in the midst of so many people, I should ever be able to find her
as well as testimony to the strange particularities of desire that it should be precisely she whom I needed to find. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#10. The most unbearable thing about many successful people is not - as we flatteringly think - how lazy they are, but how hard they work. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#11. It follows that the balance we approve of in architecture, and which we anoint with the word 'beautiful', alludes to a state that, on a psychological level, we can describe as mental health or happiness. Like buildings, we, too, contain opposites which can be more or less successfully handled. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#12. Never, ever become a writer. It's a nightmare. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#13. You can tell a paragraph is slipping out of control when there's a runaway use of the word 'hence. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#14. We may not agree with what religions are trying to teach us, but we can admire the institutional way in which they're doing it. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#15. Seeing through people is so easy, and it gets you nowhere,' remarked Elias Canetti, suggesting how effortlessly and yet how uselessly we can find fault with others. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#16. Patron Saint of Failures St Birgitta of Sweden. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#17. What bothers me is that there is so much emphasis on food, rather than gathering and meeting - so that there is all this effort in creating the right food, whereas the food is only a small part of whether the encounter is successful or not. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#18. When I'm writing, I write all day. Other days, I sit around thinking. Or I run around from one meeting to another, out in the world. It varies, and I like that. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#19. Forcing people to eat together is an effective way to promote tolerance. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#20. Our dissatisfactions may be the result of failing to look properly at our lives rather than the result of anything inherently deficient about them. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#21. Maturity: the confidence to have no opinions on many things. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#22. Happiness is impossible for longer than 15 minutes. We are the descendants of creatures who, above all else, worried. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#23. You need a long hard day's work to reveal the logic of the craving for very bad tv and alcohol. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#24. The degree of sympathy we feel regarding another's fiasco is directly proportional to how easy or difficult it is for us to imagine ourselves, under like circumstances, making a similar mistake. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#25. The value of a novel is not limited to its depiction of emotions and people akin to those in our own life; it stretches to an ability to describe these far better than we would have been able, to put a finger on perceptions that we recognize as our own, but could not have formulated on our own. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#26. He feared that by leaving her he would ruin her life - so he stayed, and did just that. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#27. A fundamental truth, is that there is simply no such thing as an inherently boring person or thing. People are only in danger of coming across as such when they either fail to understand their deeper selves or don't dare or know how to communicate them to others. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#28. Newspapers are being read all around. The point is not, of course, to glean new information, but rather to coax the mind out of its sleep-induced introspective temper. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#29. On account of its scale and complexity, the world will always outstrip the capacity of any single body to ask fertile questions of it. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#30. Being political doesn't only or principally mean caring what party wins the next election; to be political is to care about the happiness of strangers. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#31. Religions understand this: they know that to sustain goodness, it helps to have an audience. The faiths hence provide us with a gallery of witnesses at the ceremonial beginnings of our marriages and thereafter they entrust a vigilant role to their deities. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#32. The arrogance of wanting to be loved had emerged only now it was unreciprocated - I was left alone with my desire, defenseless, beyond the law, shockingly crude in my demands: Love me! And for what reason? I had only the usual paltry, insufficient excuse: Because I love you . . - Author: Alain De Botton
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#33. In Flaubert's eyes, that only entirely illiterate and uneducated Frenchmen now stood a chance of being able to think properly: - Author: Alain De Botton
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#34. We are certainly influenced by role models, and if we are surrounded by images of beautiful rich people, we will start to think that to be beautiful and rich is very important - just as in the Middle Ages, people were surrounded by images of religious piety. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#35. Paying tax should be framed as a glorious civic duty worthy of gratitude - not a punishment for making money. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#36. Art cannot single-handedly create enthusiasm, nor does it arise from sentiments of which nonartists are devoid; it merely contributes to enthusiasm and guides us to be more conscious of feelings that we might previously have experienced only tentatively or hurriedly. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#37. I feel that the great challenge of our time is the communication of ideas. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#38. Social media has lots of benefits, but compared to Christianity, it tends to group people by interests. Religion puts you with people who have nothing in common except that you're human. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#39. Man seems merely dust postponed: the sublime as an encounter - pleasurable, intoxicating, even - with human weakness in the face of strength, age and size of the universe. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#40. We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the building we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#41. The arrogance that says analysing the relationship between reasons and causes is more important than writing a philosophy of shyness or sadness or friendship drives me nuts. I can't accept that. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#42. Love reveals its insanity by its refusal to acknowledge the inherent NORMALITY of the loved one - Author: Alain De Botton
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#43. The mind does most of its best thinking when we aren't there. The answers are there in the morning. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#44. I think people want to get married to end their emotional uncertainty. In a way, they want to end powerful feelings, or certainly the negative ones. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#45. To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal song. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#46. The good parent: someone who doesn't mind, for a time, being hated by their children. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#47. There are people who say, 'Oh this guy is quite thick.' I think the reason is that, increasingly, I don't mind being simple in terms of literary expression. Others say, 'No, no, no. He went to Cambridge. He got a good degree. He must be Einstein.' - Author: Alain De Botton
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#48. A danger of travel is that we see things at the wrong time, before we have had a chance to build up the necessary receptivity and when new information is therefore as useless and fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#49. Endeavoring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#50. It is difficult when reading the description of certain fictional characters not at the same time to imagine the real-life acquaintances who they most closely, if often unexpectedly, resemble. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#51. Dreams reveal we never quite get 'over' anything: it's all still in there somewhere. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#52. How generous was it to offer gifts to people one knew would never accept them? - Author: Alain De Botton
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#53. How seldom we notice rooftops; how easily our eyes are drawn to the more flamboyant attractions of a Roman temple or Renaissance church. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#54. And what excuse was there for this? Nothing but the old line that parents and politicians will use before taking out their scalpels: I care about you, therefore I will upset you, I have honoured you with a vision of how you should be, therefore I will hurt you. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#55. [ ... ] what Ruskin judged to be the twin purposes of art: to make sense of pain and to fathom the sources of beauty. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#56. The real issue is not whether baking biscuits is meaningful, but the extent to which the activity can seem to be so after it has been continuously stretched and subdivided across five thousand lives. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#57. We must, between periods of digging in the dark, endeavour always to transform our tears into knowledge. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#58. Every realistic picture represents a choice as to which features of reality should be given prominence; no painting ever captures the whole ... - Author: Alain De Botton
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#59. What we colloquially call 'feeling bored' is just the mind, acting out of a self-preserving reflex, ejecting information it has despaired of knowing where to place. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#60. We feel guilty for all that we have not yet read, but overlook how much better read we already are than Augustine or Dante, thereby ignoring that our problem lies squarely with our manner of absorption rather than with the extent of our consumption. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#61. A world where a majority had imbibed the lessons implicit within tragic art would be one in which the consequences of our failures would necessarily cease to weigh upon us so heavily. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#62. People only get really interesting when they start to rattle the bars of their cages. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#63. There is a danger of developing a blanket distaste for modern life which could have its attractions but lack the all-important images to help us identify them. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#64. You have to be quite heavily invested in someone to do them the honour of telling them you're annoyed with them. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#65. If the search for happiness is the underlying quest of our lives, it seems only natural that it should simultaneously be the essential theme to which beauty alludes. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#66. We each appear to hold within ourselves a range of divergent views as to our native qualities.. And amid such uncertainty, we typically turn to the wider world to settle the question of our significance.. we seem beholden to affections of others to endure ourselves. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#67. Unhappiness can stem from having only one perspective to play with. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#68. To look at the paper is to raise a seashell to one's ear and to be overwhelmed by the roar of humanity. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#69. The beginning of revolutions is psychologically strikingly akin to that of certain relationships: the stress on unity, the sense of omnipotence, the desire to eliminate secrets (with the fear of the opposite soon leading to lover's paranoia and the creation of a secret police). - Author: Alain De Botton
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#70. An urgent wish is no guarantor of a sound solution. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#71. You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#72. I suffer, therefore I am special. I am not understood, but for precisely that reason, I am worthy of greater understanding. 13. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#73. It is perhaps when our lives are at their most problematic that we are likely to be most receptive to beautiful things. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#74. Living is something of an emergency anyway, but our struggles must usually be strenuously concealed. Our anxieties churn away within us, yet on the outside we must smile and deliver upbeat answers to enquiries about how we're doing. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#75. These inventors were elevating the formulation of entrepreneurial ideas to the status of a visionary activity. Though forced to justify their efforts in the pragmatic language of venture capital, they were at heart utopian thinkers intent on transforming the world. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#76. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with - Author: Alain De Botton
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#77. Envy: a confused, tangled guide to one's own ambitions. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#78. Once I began to consider everything as being of potential interest, objects released latent layers of value. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#79. Maturity: knowing where you're crazy, trying to warn others of the fact and striving to keep yourself under control. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#80. If we accord importance to the kind of portraits which surround us, it is because we fashion our lives according to their example, accepting aspects of ourselves if they concur with what others mention of themselves. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#81. The pursuit of personal happiness and the production of healthy children are two radically contrasting projects, which love maliciously confuses us into thinking of as one for a requisite number of years. We should not be surprised by marriages between people who would never have been friends - Author: Alain De Botton
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#82. There is no one more likely to destroy us than the person we marry. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#83. Philosophy had supplied Socrates with convictions in which he had been able to have rational, as opposed to hysterical, confidence when faced with disapproval. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#84. Most anger stems from feelings of weakness, sadness and fear: hard to remember when one is at the receiving end of its defiant roar. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#85. In hock to the excitements and commercial advantages of rage, the news cruelly ignores the project of consolation. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#86. Travel agents would be wiser to ask us what we hope to change about our lives rather than simply where we wish to go. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#87. It is no coincidence that the Western attraction to sublime landscapes developed at precisely the moment when traditional beliefs in God began to wane. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#88. Judged against eternity, how little of what agitates us makes any difference. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#89. We are creature deeply marked by our expectations - Author: Alain De Botton
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#90. As David lifted a suitcase onto the conveyor belt, he came to an unexpected and troubling realisation: that he was bringing himself with him on his holiday. Whatever the qualities of the Dimitra Residence, they were going to be critically undermined by the fact that he would be in the villa as well. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#91. Eroticism is therefore seemingly most clearly manifest at the intersection between the formal and the intimate. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#92. We may be powerless to alter certain events, but we remain free to choose our attitude towards them, and it is in our spontaneous acceptance of necessity that we find our distinctive freedom. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#93. Must being in love always mean being in pain? - Author: Alain De Botton
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#94. Marriage: a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don't know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully omitted to investigate. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#95. It's as though either you accept [religious] doctrine and then you can have all the nice stuff, or you reject the doctrine and you're living in some kind of spiritual wasteland under the guidance of CNN and Walmart. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#96. It seems as if, in making a marriage, either the individual or the interest of the species must come off badly. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#97. There are selections so acute that they come to define a place, with the result that we can no longer travel through that landscape without being reminded of what a great artist noticed there. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#98. Choosing a spouse and a choosing career: the two great decisions for which society refuses to set up institutional guidance. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#99. The prestige of the news is founded on the unstated assumption that our lives are forever poised on the verge of critical transformation thanks to the two driving forces of modern history: politics and technology. - Author: Alain De Botton
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#100. Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire. Every time we yearn for something we cannot afford, we grow poorer, whatever our resources. And every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess. - Author: Alain De Botton
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