Emotional Competence

Alain de Botton - Emotional Education in the 21st Century


diff from Emotional Intelligence!

Emotional Intelligence

Channels for distribution of ideas

The Media


"The world does not change through books. A book cannot on its own change anything." [01:27]

... yet it can be part of your strategy to achieve visibility and hence make an idea "powerful".

The Role of Art in Emotional Education

Making Ideas Spread / Powerful

Focus on implementation - rather then just the idea itself

"There is no shortage of good ideas in the world. [...] The thing we can't do is make good ideas powerful. And the world will only change when the lovely ideas we have become powerful." [00:24]

"We are too focused on the idea and not focused enough on the implementation." [01:03]

"We have a problem of transmission, not a problem of intellectual discovery. We've done the intellectual discovery. We need to make ideas powerful in the world." [16:32]

Start Institutions

"The only way in which change comes is when people group together and start institutions." [01:34]

Role of Culture

"Culture can replace Scripture [...] and its because of that dream that we are here today. We are the heirs of that deam. People who believe that culturecoming here together this is a church. it's a church but without God." [04:04]

Problems with Culture

"We are not allowed to bring the suffering heart to culture. [...] You are not allowed to bring your deeper self." [05:03]

"Why? Because elite culture has the view that life is basically quite simple. All you need to do in life is separate yourself from your parents, grow up, maybe start a relationship with someone new, find a job that you love, watch the onset of mortality in your parents' generation" [05:19]

"Secular culture, the way it's currently arranged is not enough. The way we're teaching things the way we teach art and culture is not enough. We're not doing it properly. [06:27]

System of Education for Emotional Competence

"My recommendation is really a new system of education but one of the things is would teach is emotional intelligence and well-being. [...] We need to raise people who understand themselves, who know what to do with our anxieties, who know how to run a relationship. These are parts of the art of living." [08:06]

"We have given up on the idea that education should be part of the art of living." [08:29]

Emotional Intelligence






by shame

at least Christianity

you are a Sinner, you are bad

by fear

... or else!

Heaven or Hell


promise that cannot be verified - hence you have to "believe"

rather than believing blindly believe in what you see with your own eyes


"Religion has been the most powerful institution that has spread ideas through the world. [...] There's only one machine in this world that has ever educated people really powerfully and that's religions." [02:39]

... but has it done so with fear or using fear?


regular attention


"Religions are obsessed with the idea that we forget everything. That's why all religions tell us to repeat things all the time." [08:53]

"What do religions use art for? Its propaganda. [...] Its propaganda for the beliefs of the religion. [...] it is essentially a giang program of advertising." [10:49]

ease of access

Churches etc.


regular attention



even unasked for

"We are very forgetful. Our minds are full of brilliant ideas but unless someone says Oh think about that idea today, we will forget." [09:19]

ease of access

You've finished your presentation