How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day
by Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)
“Which of us lives on twenty-four hours a day? And when I say ‘lives,’ I do not mean exists, nor ‘muddles through.'”
Arnold Bennett knew a “rat race” when he saw one. Every day, his fellow white-collar Londoners followed the same old routine. And they routinely decried the sameness in their lives.
So Bennett set out to explain how to inject new enthusiasm into living. In this delightful little work, he taught his fellow sufferers how to set time apart for improving their lives. Yes, he assured them, it could be done. Yes, if you want to feel connected with the world, instead of endlessly pacing the treadmill (or, “exceeding your programme”, as he called it), you must do so.
For time, as he gleefully notes, is the ultimate democracy. Each of us starts our day with 24 hours to spend. Even a saint gets not a minute more; even the most inveterate time-waster is docked not a second for his wastrel ways. And he can choose today to turn over a new leaf!
Bennett believed that learning to discern cause and effect in the world would give his readers an endless source of enjoyment and satisfaction. Instead of only being able to discuss what they had heard, they could graduate to what they thought… and lift themselves completely from the deadening influence of a day at the office.
(Summary by Mark F. Smith)