Prestige, Respect, and Society



Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.
Through his witty and literate books -- and his new School of Life -- Alain de Botton helps others find fulfillment in the everyday


Think about it: In the United States, people believe that we live in a society based on meritocracy. This means those who are successful are so because of their own skills and abilities. Likewise, those who are “losers” are those who lack skills and abilities. We prejudge people based on their business cards. We are all afraid of becoming "losers" and that's where the "social anxiety" comes from. In the middle ages, those who were poor were deemed unfortunate. Nowadays, they are “losers”. We are so immersed in our own successes, we worship ourselves. We respect certain people and look up to other people. Whereas, in prior times, more often than not, we worshiped divine figures. That is one reason why we are attracted to nature as an escape from ourselves and the pressures of society.

Bottom Line:

It's not that we are materialistic. We value the emotional rewards that comes with having that item. We are trying to prove something to someone. We are just looking for somebody's attention and approval. In hopes to prove that we are worthy of dignity and respect.

Want more? Check this documentary out: Status Anxiety
This is the link to Part 1 (1 of 5)

There are three parts and five subparts for each part on Youtube.

Books:

The Architecture of Happiness (Vintage)

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

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