We’re continually being bombarded with suggestions about what we might do: go jet skiing, study in Colorado, visit the Maldives, or set up a tech company out west. The modern world makes sure we know at all times just how much is going on out there. It’s a culture in which intense and painful doses of FOMO, or fear of missing out, are going to be inevitable. There are two ways of looking at this: romantic or classical. To the romantic temperament, missing out causes immense agony. Somewhere else noble, and interesting, and attractive people are living exactly the life that should be yours. You’d be so happy if only you could be over there at that party with those people working in that agency off Washington Square, or holidaying in that shack in Jutland. Sometimes it just makes you want to burst into tears. The romantic believes in the idea of a defined center, where the most exciting things are happening. At one time it was New York, for a few years it was Berlin, then London, now it’s probably San Francisco and in five years it may be Auckland or perhaps Rio. For the romantic, humanity is divided into a large group of the mediocre, and a tribe of the elect: artists, entrepreneurs, the edgy part to the fashion world, and the people doing creative things with tech. As a romantic it’s exhausting inside your soul. Your mother sometimes drives you nuts; her life is utterly dull. How can she accept it? Why isn’t she itching to move to the Bay Area? She’s always suggesting you take a job in Birmingham or inviting you on a walking holiday in the Lake District. Sometimes you’re quite rude to her. You avoid certain people like the plague: that shy friend from school who struggles with their weight, the flat mate who’s a telecoms engineer, who wants to go into local politics. Being around individuals who are so unglamorous and lacking in ambition can feel pretty fatal. For their part, classically minded people acknowledge that there are, of course, some genuinely marvelous things going on in the world but they doubt that the obvious signs of glamour are a good guide to finding them. The best novel in the world, they like to think is probably not currently winning prizes or storming up the best seller lists, It may be being written at this moment by an arthritic woman living in, the otherwise, unremarkable Latvian town of Liepāja. Classical people are intensely aware that good qualities coexist with some extremely ordinary ones. Everything is rather jumbled up: lamentable taste in jumpers is compatible with extraordinary insight. Academic qualifications can give no indication of true intelligence. Famous people can be dull. Obscure ones can be remarkable. At a perfect launch party drinking sandalwood cocktails at the coolest bar in the world you could be feeling sad and anxious. You might have the deepest conversations of your life with your aunt, even though she likes watching snooker on television and has stopped dying her hair. The classical temperament also fears missing out, but it has a rather different list of things that they’re afraid of not enjoying: getting to truly know one’s parents, learning to cope well with being alone, appreciating the consoling power of trees and clouds, discovering what their favorite pieces music really mean to them, chatting to a 7 year old child. As these wise souls know: one can indeed miss out on such extremely important things if one’s always rushing out a little too intently to find excitement elsewhere heading off in haste to that stylish bar with a see-through elevator packed with some of the city’s top creatives.