Tolstoy - slaveryThe 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.