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By Zygmunt Bauman

In our individualized society we're all artists of existence – even if we all know it or no longer, will it or now not and prefer it or now not, via decree of society if no longer via our personal selection. during this society we're all anticipated, rightly or wrongly, to provide our lives function and shape by utilizing our personal talents and assets, whether we lack the instruments and fabrics with which artists’ studios have to be outfitted for the artist’s paintings to be conceived and done. And we're praised or censured for the implications – for what we've got controlled or did not accomplish and for what now we have accomplished and misplaced.
In our liquid smooth society we're additionally taught to think that the aim of the artwork of existence will be and will be happiness – although it’s no longer transparent what happiness is, the photographs of a cheerful kingdom retain altering and the kingdom of happiness is still more often than not whatever yet-to-be-reached.

This new e-book by means of Zygmunt Bauman – the most unique and influential social thinkers writing this present day – isn't a e-book of designs for the paintings of existence nor a ‘how to’ publication: the development of a layout for all times and how it's pursued is and can't yet be someone accountability and person accomplishment. it's as an alternative a super account of stipulations lower than which our designs-for-life are selected, of the restrictions that will be imposed on their selection and of the interaction of layout, twist of fate and personality that form their implementation. final yet now not least, it's a examine of the ways that our society – the liquid sleek, individualized society of shoppers – impacts (but doesn't verify) the way in which we build and narrate our existence trajectories.

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Don’t anticipate existence to bare any good judgment other than a stroke of good fortune (possibly) and banana skins on a sidewalk (equally most likely) – and therefore ‘want each second to be pleasurable’. certainly: each second. A non-pleasurable second is a second wasted. because it is very unlikely to calculate what kind of destiny earnings, if any, a gift sacrifice may possibly carry, why should still one hand over the moment pleasures you will squeeze out from the ‘here and now’? The ‘art of lifestyles’ may perhaps suggest various things to the contributors of older and more youthful generations, yet all of them guidance it and can’t most likely now not. The process existence and the which means of each successive lifestyles episode, in addition to life’s ‘overall goal’ or ‘ultimate destination’, are these days presumed to be selfmade jobs, no matter if they consist in simple terms in choosing and assembling the precise form of flat-packed IKEA-style package. every one and any practitioner of existence is anticipated, simply as artists are, to undergo complete accountability for the result of the activity and be praised or blamed for its effects. permit me repeat: nowadays each one guy and every girl is an artist now not rather a lot by way of selection as, so that you can communicate, by means of the decree of common destiny. ‘Being artists through decree’ signifies that non-action additionally counts as motion; up to swimming and navigating, permitting oneself to float with the waves is a priori assumed to be an act of inventive artwork and has a tendency to be retrospectively recorded as such. Even these those that refuse to think within the logical succession, continuity and consequentiality in their offerings, judgements and undertakings, and within the feasibility and plausibility in their tasks to tame destiny, to overrule windfall or future and to maintain existence on a gradual, predesigned and hottest path – even they don't take a seat idly via; they nonetheless have to ‘assist destiny’ through seeing to the unending little projects which they're decreed via situations to accomplish as though following drawings connected to an meeting package. simply up to those that see no element in delaying delight and choose to reside ‘for the moment’, those who take care of the long run and are cautious of undermining percentages but to return are confident of the volatility of life’s offers. all of them appear to be reconciled to the impossibility of foolproof judgements, of predicting precisely which of innumerable successive steps could be (retrospectively! ) proven to be those rightly chosen; or which of the haphazardly scattered seeds will deliver ample and attractive fruit, and which buds will wilt and fade earlier than a surprising gust of wind or a wasp on a foraging escapade has an opportunity to pollinate them. And so no matter what else they suspect, all of them agree that one must hurry; that doing not anything or doing it slowly and lackadaisically is damaging. quite the younger, who, as Swida-Ziemba famous, gather stories and credentials ‘just in case’. The younger Poles say ‘moe’; the English of an analogous age might say ‘perhaps’, the French ‘peut-être’, the German ‘vielleicht’, the Italians ‘forse’, the Spanish ‘tal vez’ – yet they might all suggest a lot a similar: who can recognize even if one or the opposite price ticket will win within the subsequent life-lotto draw?

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