The BBC has shared a nice little article on “The secrets to a happy life — courtesy of Leo Tolstoy.” Many of the “secrets” will be familiar not only to readers of Tolstoy, but any of the progressive writers and thinkers of the late 19th century: Peter Kropotkin, William Morris, Henry George, et al. Tolstoy belonged to a generation of reformists and radicals committed to the total regeneration of society through a radical revaluation of our habits, lifestyles, and beliefs (an inner transformation) as well as an overthrow of existing and oppressive social-political-economic structures (the external transformation). Certain recommendations will be familiar to any Arts and Crafts adherents (e.g. “Master the art of simple living” and “Become a craftsman.”)
Here’s the list of “secrets,” expanded on in the article.
1. Keep an open mind.
2. Practice empathy.
3. Make a difference.
4. Master the art of simple living.
5. Beware your contradictions.
6. Become a craftsman.
7. Expand your social circle.