My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Burkeman has written about ‘to do lists’ before; the emphasis in this book is on Mortals. His title makes the point clearly – we have on average a lifespan of 4000 weeks.
I warm to the author because he is not taken in with the fake promises of time management gurus, indeed he highlights how they make false promises because they in different way assume we can master time, and our lives are limitless. Although he does not refer to stoicism in the text and there are a wide range of sources for his quotations, he does advocate a modern stoicism / Buddhism; accept your limitations, be concerned about what you can affect, enjoy this moment…
As such this is well and good. This may well be the best and most rational philosophy for atheists.
I am not entirely convinced that we should abandoning hope, and looking for a ‘deeper’ meaning to our short lives. It does not seem to me that the public will take kindly to ditching hope or purpose.
I certainly do not think that for all his reading (Brueggemann – did he really read him?) of Christian authors that he has grasped the extra dimension of understanding our lives as gifts to be used well for God’s purposes. And that someone (God) really does care about what we do, and wants to say ‘Well done’ good and faithful servant’.
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