How to Make LIFE Worth Living

Greek historian Plutarch (AD 46-120) tells us the story of a ‘clever’ fellow. The fellow believed that a dead body could stand erect if it was poised at a proper angle. The fellow then took a dead body and tried his best to make it stand. But all his efforts failed. Then, accepting defeat the clever fellow said, “Something has disappeared from the inside of this so that it cannot stand.”

We may laugh at the words of the clever fellow. But there is something in the story for us to reflect on. What is that something, which has disappeared from the inside of the dead man? What is that something inside of us, which helps us to stand erect and hold our heads high? I believe that it is our ethical, moral and religious values that make us stand erect amidst trials and difficulties. For, as Shakespeare says, “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” Our values help us stand firm in spite of the mingled yarn of problems and conflicts in our daily living.

In this book, How to Make LIFE Worth Living, the author has out together 25 essays around the theme of values graced by love. As love is all-embracing and values are many, these essays deal with a variety of topics. But they are all anchored on love and values, which make life worth living.

The chapters of the book are:

  • 1. Take Away Free the Beautiful Things of Nature
    2. Let’s Think about Others
    3. The Humaneness of Mother Teresa
    4. Justice for All Means Peace for All
    5. The Teachers are the Key to Education
    6. Cultural and Religious Pluralism
    7. Competitive Globalization or Promotion of Values
    8. Displaced Persons and Refugees
    9. The Unaided Refugees
    10. Life More Important than Examinations
    11. Is Suicide a Permanent Solution?
    12. Let Human Rights Rule Your House
    13. Home, an Abode of Peace

  • 14. Let us Blaze a New Path in this New Year
    15. Forever the Outsider
    16. The Buddhist Model of Management
    17. Good Governance and Administration
    18. ‘Jai Adivasi’ – Slogan of Tribal Dignity
    19. Fighting Social Evil – The Adivasi Way
    20. Our Independence Day Celebrations
    21. Our Glorious Achievements and Crying Failures
    22. Earn Money but don’t be Hooked
    23. The Example of a Donkey
    24. Who is the Number-One Enemy of Women?
    25. A Stress Free Life

Author :

Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ,

Publisher :

Insight Books, Pauline Sisters Bombay Society, 143 Waterfield Road, Bandra, Mumbai 400 050,



Price :

T 8૦/-

Year of Publication 2009.

Book Review:

“Is life worth living? This is the most frightening and threatening question faced by millions of people all over the world. Presumably, almost everyone faces this question, at least momentarily, sometime, Varghese Paul’s book, How to Make Life Worth Living, is a commendable attempt to find an answer….
“The author’s twenty-five essays encourage us to find the “why” of life in simple things and in simple ways. You may find meaning when you hear birds chirping or see the humaneness of Mother Teresa of Calcutta; or you may be inspired by the stories in this book, among them: “Justice for all means peace for all”, “Teachers are the key to education”, “Cultural and religious pluralism”, “Displaced persons and refugees”, “Let human rights rule you house” or “Fighting social evil – the Adivasi way”.”

- Joe Palathunkal, TREFOIL – NO. 276, 2010

“This is a book that offers penetrating reflection and continually emphasizes its themes of liberation and love and draws connections to the challenges and faithfulness in our time. It is a book written in a conscience, spiced with stories and living examples, which is simple language instill, in the reader the courage to live a life worth living, inspite of everything. Everyone should read this book so that we may all become instruments of peace in the new millennium to make the world a better place.”

- Fr. Ornellas Coutinho, SJ, HERALD, Oct.30-Nov.5, 2009

“Who would profit from reading this book which consists of 25 essays, “all anchored in love and values” (p.10), some of which have earlier appeared in some national periodicals like Indian Currents and The Examiner? The Foreword says that “the book’s declared aim is to help young people, irrespective of their religion, caste or colour, grow us as mature, responsible individuals, attentive to the needs of others, specially the weak and the poor” (p.14). However, there’s no gainsaying the fact that it offers others too an opportunity to look at things, people and situations from a different point of view. In fact, this book is a pointer to the fact that with such an all-encompassing line of thinking flowing through his writings, Varghese Paul, a Jesuit priest, is all set to emerge as successful a writer in English as he has been in Gujarati, the language in which he has written no less than 36 books in just two decades!

- Ladislaus L. D’Souza, THE EXAMINER, May 22, 2010