To Matter or Not to Matter

In his Takimag column, the philosophical doctor gazes at the stars from his country chateau in France and considers the consequences on his perception of his own significance.

On the other hand, not being able to look up at the stars, thereby being made aware of how tiny we are, might conduce to self-importance and small-mindedness. Our own affairs then grow in significance and occupy the totality of our minds. We lose the habit, and therefore the ability, to judge the size of our concerns with anything else. We have no sense of the order of things, especially if, at the same time, we do not study history; and minor inconveniences then become for us tragedies of the first magnitude. Thus we become egotistical, self-obsessed, ill-tempered, self-absorbed, and trivial-minded.

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