Alain de Botton’s lecture at De Nieuwe Kerk in the heart of Amsterdam was a great way to start King’s evening. When I entered this massive church, I didn’t realise there were more then 700 other people present, to hear Mr. pop philosopher himself speak to us. This man is really strong and inspirational. I know that many might disagree, but as I am passionate about philosophy myself and eager to learn all about it, I couldn’t refuse my support and congrats to a man who is trying to make philosophy accessible to everyone.
You may say whatever you like about science, law, mathematics and linguistics, but philosophy is one of the deepest and sophisticated (what’s in a word) forms of intellectual expression and analysis possible. But what this man is doing, is so much more difficult. It is easy to say something easy in very complicated words, but to explain something that is often inexplicable in a manner that everyone, even without a background in humanities, can understand… that’s what I call power, wisdom and a love for sharing.
The School of Life is De Bottons initiative to make people feel comfortable about sharing their existential crises, to talk about what is hidden and unexpressed, to acknowledge what we feel guilty about and so much more. For intellectual and educated people, everything this man has to say might have seemed rather simplistic and commercial. But, why would we keep philosophy a secret and keep it closed off, underground and selfishly to our intellectual selves? A friend of wisdom should be a friend of mankind and share it all.
In The School of Life you can talk about how to be a better friend, how to stay calm, be in a relationship, or not? These questions seem so simple yet they are the ones that often drive us madly into burn-outs, midlife crises, low self-esteem and a disease called perfectionism. In The School of Life you get together with other people to talk about those worries in everyday life for about 3 hours. The School of Life is not a lecture, it is a sermon on emotional intelligence, the most valuable and sensitive form of intelligence. Get smart by talking with your heart, I’d say.
This charming initiative has now settled in the Herengracht in Amsterdam after London Melbourne and Rio de Janeiro. Find more information on their site! The School of Life.