Books about mindfulness or hygge are criticised for accepting injustice. But humans have always ‘coped’ – and pretending otherwise can be a source of misery
Every now and then, in the course of this disquieting year, a book landed on my desk bearing a classic self-help title – something about kicking ass, winning at life, getting everything you’d ever dreamed of – and I felt a twinge of pity for the author, for being so out of step with the times. This doesn’t feel like an era of ass-kicking or dream-realising. Instead, it’s an era typified by the genre I’ve come to think of as Coping.
Mindfulness, in its popular form, is Coping. So, too, are hygge, lagom, and whatever other Scandinavian word someone just decided is the secret to happiness: they’re about turning toward the domestic and appreciating what you’ve got.
Too many problems? Maybe coping isn’t the answer | Oliver Burkeman