Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this book when I was sailing to Brazil – achieving a lifelong ambition and leaving the rat race for a year or thereabouts. So, I was ready for this, with an open mind (eventually 78 nights at sea, many of them on my back looking at the stars). So, what about the book?
Completely different to ‘On Love’ and ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’ (thanks Peter at congnatum.com for putting me on to Alain de Botton), the basic idea that our current system of measuring people on a scale of wealth (and, arguably, ‘fame’), is purely a fashion.
There are other scales: ‘holiness’; fighting prowess and so on, and at different times in history, and in different cultures, having ‘currency’ was not important.
I got my head around that, and it resonated with me. My status anxiety faded. Now I just need cash for food, not status 😉