Just came across this post that I had started a while ago and never finished. I thought it was interesting enough to share.

I ~~recently~~ watched Alain de Botton talk about a gentler, kinder success, and I recommend that you do the same.

I was surprised to hear echoes of earlier writing in his arguments. Indeed, it showed remarkable discipline to be able to talk about the great role that chance plays in personal success without quoting Ecclesiastes 9:11.

De Botton also discussed envy. Envy, he argues, is largely created by a belief in equality. I think he's right, and that he's right to say it. However, I could have sworn I read a similar thing in something C. S. Lewis wrote, and it turns out I did: Screwtape Proposes a Toast. It is one of Lewis's poorer pieces where he writes about the English education system and small government and other claptrap under the guise of writing about the human spiritual condition.

Lewis's essay feels horribly dated and rather cantankerous. De Botton's talk is friendly and witty and warm. Ecclesiastes is beautiful, concise and somewhat disheartening. True things stay true, and bear repeating in new ways and new contexts.