Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"There's an arrogance that comes over people who think the system is just. The more just you think the system is, the crueler you're likely to be, because if you generally believe that those at the top deserve their success, you have to believe that those at the bottom deserve their failure. That's when you start talking about people as "losers," and saying things like, "Winners make their own luck." So there's a very nasty side to this otherwise very nice-sounding idea that we should make society fairer. Success is never totally deserved just as failure is never totally deserved. And I think there are too many overly happy billionaires who say things like, "No one ever helped me, so why should I help anyone else? Why should I pay taxes?" And one wants to say, "Yes, of course. ButÂ…" "

- Alain de Botton

This is a really great piece of wisdom. The whole interview was great- I am terribly afflicted with status anxiety. I hate resumes because I feel in some large part of me that the person will look at it, anddeterminee quickly my human worth, and toss it out without a second glance. On one hand, this is not true at all. They can't possibly know my human worth, they don't know me. Then again, people think they know your human worth based on just anything.

Stuff your mouth, sit on your ass, be fat you're a lazy person. Stuff your mouth sit on your ass, and be thin. Well, you're obviously just fine. Is your skin a bit too dark? Well, you're inherently stupid and criminal. Your clothes too cheap? You are lazy, and don't work. Basically, most of this stuff doesn't even matter, yet people base what they think your worth is on it.

I think Botton has a great point with the quote above especially. We think a person's success in life is who they are. The total sum of themselves can be summed up in a bank account and a high position at the table, while the rest of us are just subhuman. I should read the whole book to learn about alternatives.

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