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Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives Paperback – October 11, 2004
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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According to the author, the problem is pain caused by progress, problems, stress and overload. The prescription for treating the disease is margin: margin in emotional energy, margin in physical energy, margin in time and margin in finances. If we have the courage to stand against the flow and follow the prescription, the prognosis is health through contentment, simplicity, balance and rest.
Doctors always tell us to rest and relax, but who has time for that? If you want to get ahead in your career, you have to put the hours in; if you want your children to have good prospects in life you have to send them to good schools and run them round to sporting events and music lessons; housing and schooling are really expensive - how can you really expect to get margin in your life?
The real message of the book is likely to be unpalatable to most readers: to cultivate margin in your life, you need to make deliberate decisions not to pursue some of the goals that you probably currently hold dear. Perhaps you need to reduce your work commitments and go part-time. Perhaps you need to live in a smaller house. Perhaps you need to do less, so that you have more unstructured time to serve others. This is a gentle and encouraging book with a very tough underlying message.