Is it really a philosophy book if it has a section entitled "The Importance of Loafing"? Harvard scholar, Taoist, and modernist Lin Yutang wrote The Importance of Living to express his highly subjective, personal feelings after years of studying ancient Chinese texts, and created a wonderfully slow-going yet radiantly clear guide to the simple life. Taking walks, drinking tea, long talks with friends are all important to Lin, whose stories and retellings of Taoist classics meander away from his points, find new ones, and remind us to enjoy the life that's all around us without needless worry.
Lin's prose is gentle, like the conversation of a favorite lazy uncle who is more at home sipping lemonade on the back porch than gulping lattes between meetings. The sincerity of his humility is surprising to a reader used to postmodern writers who seem to pride themselves on their self-abasement. Though Lin deliberately avoided fame and notoriety, correctly observing that it only leads to troubles, one can only hope that his wisdom, timelier than ever, finds a wider audience among today's too-busy-to-breathe global culture. His philosophy, more practical and enjoyable than the usual Western writings on the subject, reminds us all of the vital importance of simply living. --Rob Lightner
Published in 1937, this was one of the original "don't worry, be happy" books. The Chinese philosopher here expounds on the mindset people need to develop in order to have a more successful and peaceful life.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is not a quick read. It is something like the Bible in that you can read a few pages and chew on the yummy substance of it for a day or so. Read morePublished 11 days ago by artsy4artsy
Lin Yutang lived from 1895-1976. This book was published in 1937. In today's technology the book could be described as a sort of blog about the writer's philosophical observations... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jasmine
This book is a miracle. Somewhat dated, it provides the most comprehensive history, philosophy, and understanding of pre-Mao China. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dr.G.
This scholar of Chinese and English literature extols a Chinese philosophy of living which is the enjoyment of a simple life. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Michael