“Conventional wisdom,” says Roger Housden, “tells us that nobody goes to heaven for having a good time.” Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living , then, is a refreshing, liberating, and decidedly welcome dose of unconventional wisdom that awakens us to the simple delights and transformative joys of the world around us.
With elegance, gentle humor, and remarkable openness, Housden takes us along as he recalls his personal journey toward an appreciation of what he calls the Seven Pleasures: The Pleasure of All Five Senses, The Pleasure of Being Foolish,The Pleasure of Not Knowing, The Pleasure of Not Being Perfect, The Pleasure of Doing Nothing Useful, The Pleasure of Being Ordinary, and The Pleasure of Coming Home.
Housden writes, for instance, of submitting to the ultimate folly of falling in love, of celebrating our imperfections, of coming to understand the virtues of the Slow Food movement while enjoying an all-afternoon lunch in a small French village, and of discovering in a Saharan cave that, however extraordinary our surroundings, “we are human, a glorious nothing much to speak of”—and learning to be at peace with the notion.
Such pleasures may be suspect in today’s achievement-driven, tightly scheduled, relent-lessly self-improving, conspicuously consumptive culture, but surely the greater sin lies in letting them slip away moment by precious moment. “The purpose of this book,” says Housden, “is to inspire you to lighten up and fall in love with the world and all that is in it.” Reading it is a pleasure indeed.
“When you die,God and the angels will hold you accountablefor all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself.”
Roger Housden, author of the bestselling Ten Poems series, presents a joyously affirmative, warmly personal, and spiritually illuminating meditation on the virtues of opening ourselves up to pleasures like being foolish, not being perfect, and doing nothing useful, the pleasure of not knowing, and even (would you believe it?) the pleasure of being ordinary.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living|
|Release Date: 12-06-2005|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living
ONE: The Pleasure of All Five Senses
We can see farther today than any of our forefathers could dream of seeing. We can see farther than the keenest cheetah or lynx. We can look over the horizon, around the world, up into space, down into our intestines digesting dinner. Nothing can escape our eye. We can watch practically anything we want—the only thing is, most of what we look at comes down a cable. Using the naked eye is fast going out of style. Why bother when a camera will do it better? The image is becoming more real to us than the real thing.
There is a man in England who does his bird watching in front of the television. He doesn’t need binoculars. He will watch the golf tournaments for the chance flight of a heron across the green. He will watch nature programs, not for the lion strutting in the foreground, but for the little bird in the background that the commentator neglects even to mention. His greatest thrill is to identify a bird on his screen and check it off his list as “seen.”
Not just our eyes, but all of our senses are losing the original savor of first-hand experience. We live in an ocean of smell but smother it in detergents, disinfectants, and artificial perfumes. Millions wear little white earphones and hear only faintly the sounds of the living world they are passing through. We are becoming out of touch with the earth we live on, and fast. We need to come to our senses before we lose them.
This physical life is to die for. When we stop for a moment to register how alive everything is—every cell of our own body, every turning leaf, every drop of