Bibliophile | the french art of not giving a f*ck

the french art of not giving a f*ck
by Fabrice Midal
Allen and Unwin

Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris Fabrice Midal outlines fifteen areas of our lives that he believes need rethinking. He is convinced that there is no better way to unleash the forgotten possibilities within us than by getting rid of self-imposed stresses and putting our energies into being present to everything around us.

There are quite a lot of things in his firing line and despite having meditated for 25 years and foundingthe Western School of Meditation, the first thing he wants us not giving a fuck about is meditating. He elaborates it is not actually meditation that he is attacking but the expectations that have been attached to the practice.

In some ways the book title is somewhat misleading but many people, including my hairdresser, get thebook because of its title. Then they find out that his philosophies about living a better life are actually quite interesting. Midal does not advocate that we stop making an effort or caring. He suggests we give ourselves a break by not trying so hard and he gives ways to redirect our energies.

Midel does not promote anarchy but asks to take a closer look at things that we wouldn’t normally think about such as blind obedience and conformity that effect the way we live and how we feel about ourselves. “Let’s accept that we should not always be mice, or please everyone, or be loved all the time, by everyone.”

It is an interesting perspective that peace does not come from controlling who you are but transforming your reality. Rather than taking shelter from the world, being present and looking at how to better fit in allows people to leave their comfort zones and move towards something greater.

Midel’s middle-finger-up theory gives you permission to stop doing things that don’t make you happy. So there’s no need to be ashamed and torment yourself that you are not ‘perfect’. Fuck comparing yourself with others. Become your own best friend, read about Midel’s French art or not giving a fuck and dance with your life.

Lezly Herbert

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