Wednesday 24 January 2018

Christina Odone: The best New Year's tip is to help others

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Christina Odone

I AM an enthusiastic reader of tips, how-to manuals and self-help books.

I love the feeling that, no matter how metaphysical your existential crisis, a guru somewhere lies ready with practical and goal-oriented advice: "Do exactly as I say, and your business will grow/weight will shrink/sexual attractiveness rise."

My penchant for this type of literature probably points to a weak character, riven with gullibility, self-doubt and unfounded hope. If anything, I'm worse: I'm not just weak, I'm lazy. Like the woman who watches endless repeats of cooking programmes, paying rapt attention to the way Jamie bastes a turkey, or Nigella handles a whisk, without ever re-enacting either process herself, I see self-improvement as a spectator sport.

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