Alain De Botton On Habit Summary

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In "On Habit", Alain de Botton observes that a "traveling mindset," to which receptivity, the notion of being open to new objects, is the key to the release of latent layers of value in our accustomed surroundings. In Gregory Orr's "Return to Hayneville," "receptivity" seems to be the key as Orr returns to Hayneville, 40 years after what had been the most tumultuous time of his life. Orr, traveling with his 2 other companions, tends to give them a recount of what he actually had to go through in Hayneville, and how his emotions get the better of him when they reach Hayneville. However, the real problems falls when Alain de Botton seems to suggest that "receptivity" is the key to living a life worth living, as that helps one observe the beauty…show more content…
Alain de Botton's whole essay "On Habit" is rounded up on the fact that "receptivity" is the key to living a happy life, disregarding its negative aspects and tinkering only with the positive ones. Contrary to de Bottons notion, Gregory Orrs's "Return To Hayneville" gives an indication that the grass is not always green when it comes to being receptive, as it has its limitations too, which de Botton fails to mention. Orr's "receptivity" comes into place when he notices the 3 martyrs laying on ground, observing that "They seemed at peace, all…show more content…
By "Connecting Imaginatively," he suggests we use the process of responding to new sights and sounds involving a creative ability to process the perceptions of the sense using imaginations. Orr tends to "Connect Imaginatively" when he implies that "and close up, as close as the arc of a swung billy club, I had discovered that for every martyr whose life was resolved into a meaningful death, there were hundreds of others who were merely beaten, terrorized, humiliated"(Orr,223). This quote pretty much sums up Orr's situation. He realizes there will be more and more martyrs that will eventually win as they welcome death, but also for fighting against injustice. Orr realized the difficulty of situation, as he ought to be a martyr, and for that, he need not fear death. However, he realized hundreds of them were humiliated and terrorized too for absolutely no reason, just like how they were being at that point. Despite knowing the intimate reality of violence, Orr was keen to take on the challenge of participating in the movement. Equivalently, Orr "connects imaginatively" when he says "As we're leaving and I pause in the cindery parking lot with one hand on my car-door handle, taking a last look at the old jail, a single word comes to me: joy"(Orr,229). He looks at the jail, which is nothing but an abandoned building now. Standing there, he realizes how at one point

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