James Corden talks with philosopher and “The School of Life” co-founder Alain de Botton about our collective emotional state during a global pandemic.

Alain says there is no FOMO, no fear of missing out on a fictional perfect life during a pandemic. He challenges the “brave face”, speaks to the humanness of coping with adversity, and gives his thoughts on parenting and treating ourselves better.

“Lets use this crisis to be a bit more honest about what it’s like to be human.”

The trap of the “brave face”

Alain says, “this idea that in order to be a decent human being, you have to be an unafraid human being. So most of us feel so weird, because we have access to our own thoughts, fears, and fragilities, but we only can guess what’s going on inside other people’s minds from what they choose to tell us. Generally they edit the information heavily.

Therefore, a lot of us end up thinking that we’re very weird because what’s going on in my head doesn’t seem to echo to what’s going on in someone else’s. Actually, all of us experience many of the same things, we’re full of self-doubt, regret, shame, we have longings for love, we want to be generous towards other people.

Actually life is stranger than we’re allowed to admit that it is. I think great works of art, comedy, songs, they’re always able to stretch our idea of what is normal, and that’s why we appreciate them.”

Watch the full interview for tips with working, parenting, and adapting to change.

If you’re not coping today, you can talk to a Crisis Supporter now on 13 11 14.

Image credit: Photo by Tim Wildsmith on Unsplash