Nov 05

Julie Chahal

One of the challenges of retirement is that our society equates success with being hardworking and excelling in what we produce. The 16th century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne had a point of view perhaps more appropriate to this stage of our lives.


Let us be kind to ourselves … We are great fools. ‘He has spent his life in idleness,’ we say. ‘I have done nothing today.’ What? Have you not lived? That is not only the most fundamental but the most illustrious of your occupations … to compose our character is our duty, not to compose books and to win battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live!

The full translated version of Montaigne’s Essays can be found on line  here.


This was extracted from Kati Marton’s book Paris: A Love Story.

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