to gain confidence
cultivate the contrary
Adapted from the book, The Architecture of Happiness (2009, Vintage Books) by Alain de Botton, and the passage:
We will, of course, run a risk if we spend extended periods analyzing the meanings that emanate from practical objects. To be preoccupied with deciphering the message encoded in a light switch or a tap is to leave ourselves more than usually vulnerable to the commonsensical scorn of those who seek little from such fittings beyond a means of illuminating their bedroom or rinsing their teeth.
To inoculate ourselves against this derision, and to gain confidence in cultivating a contrary, more meditative attitude towards objects, we might profitably pay a visit to a museum of modern art. In whitewashed galleries housing collections of twentieth-century abstract sculpture, we are offered a rare perspective on how exactly three-dimensional masses can assume and convey meaning – a perspective that may in turn enable us to regard our fittings and houses in a new way.
According the The New York Review of Books, this is “A perceptive, thoughtful, original, and richly illustrated exercise in the dramatic personification of buildings of all sorts.”
What I find irrestible in reading Mr. de Botton is his use of language.
I get the feeling that if you made a spread sheet of all the words, adverbs and adjectives used by Mr. de Botton, you just might find that he used each word just once.
Neat trick in writing a book.
If I knew how to do that, I would.