heroism in a class all its own

Rabih’s awareness of the uncertainty makes him want to hang on to the light all the more fervently.  If only for a moment, it all makes sense.  He knows how to love Kirsten, how to have sufficient faith in himself, and how to feel compassion for and be patient with his children.  But it is all desperately fragile.  He knows full well that he has no right to call himself a happy man; he is simply an ordinary human passing through a small phase of contentment.

Very little can be made perfect; he knows that now.  He has a sense of the bravery it takes to live even an utterly mediocre life like his own.  To keep all of this going, to ensure his continuing status as an almost sane person, his capacity to provide for his family financially, the survival of his marriage and the flourishing of his children – these projects offer no fewer opportunities for heroism than an epic tale….The courage not to be vanquished by anxiety, not to hurt others out of frustration,, not to grow too furious with the world for the perceived injuries it heedlessly inflicts, not to go crazy and somehow manage to persevere in a ore or less adequate way through the difficulties of married life – this is true courage; this is heroism in a class all its own.

– Alain de Botton, The Course of Love


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4 Comments

  1. Nadine
    Posted July 22, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Wow. Perfect, perfect.

  2. Amy
    Posted July 22, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Wow. I love this. Adding to my quote book. Thanks!

  3. Posted July 22, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I am reading this book right now. There are so many passages I love.

  4. Posted July 22, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Wow. Stunning. This reminds me of a line from Naomi Shihab Nye: “More and more I understand what people do / I appreciate the daily braveries.” xo