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'Grief and loneliness, depression, despair and failure - those things are the common human lot at least at times in all our lives'. Yet it is philosophy which, while not providing an answer to these problems, can enable us to prepare for them, and create strategies with which to deal with them. It is only through reflecting upon the world around us, reading, thinking, questioning, enjoying, that we can inculcate understanding, tolerance and importantly the courage to live our lives. It is our responsibility to live such 'considered lives' and to realise that we are authors of a narrative that can be shaped and controlled. This is the fifth in a series of essay miscellanies from our foremost philosopher A.C. Grayling, reflecting upon the form of our world and its multiplicity. The essays are grouped by theme into reflections upon life and the standards we live by, including vivid polemics and perceptive pieces on significant thinkers, contemporary rights and liberties issues. This book brilliantly articulates the philosophical debate and reflection that is needed to prepare us for life in the twenty-first century.