Promoting French Culture and Language
in the Greater Lynchburg Area for over 50 Years

January 29, 2014

Book Review : Le Bonheur - Simple, non ?

By Françoise Watts, President of the Alliance Française de Lynchburg
Le Bonheur-this is the subject of the new book by French philosopher Frederic Lenoir (Du Bonheur, voyage philosophique, Fayard). It is a bestseller in France right now, as if everyone wanted to know the recipe for le bonheur. What Lenoir says is that, for the most part, it is up to us to make our own happiness, and we can manage that by focusing on the little pleasures of our life. Simple, non?
There are however  cultures who are more predisposed to le bonheur than others, and this has nothing to do with material wealth (only 10%). But remember, le bonheur is contagious.
What I loved in the book is that Lenoir links philosophies of the West with those of the East. Montaigne, the great French philosopher of the 16th century who wrote in his Essays about le Bonheur is not that distant from Buddhism and Taoism.

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