According to Ariely, we should move toward more appropriate cliques (19). It is most difficult to change one’s own behavioral patterns in isolation. So, one way of effecting these changes is to switch social groups either gradually or immediately. What does that mean? That means avoiding people who are most profoundly engaged in the accumulation of wealth, the climbing of perceived social ladders, and the winning by comparison game. It means seeking like-minded people. For some, it will be a welcomed relief from the prima fascia nature of their lives, but for many people in Western society, this will feel very uncomfortable. They may begin to ask themselves certain questions. Who am I without my six-figure job? Who am I without my expensive car or my manicured lawn? The stark truth smacks of irony.
According to Ariely, no remedy exists for problems associated with phenomenon of ownership (138). There are those who have diverted too much energy to competing for things that do not really matter that much on a cosmic level. They are themselves, completely secure in virtue of their accomplishments and possessions – completely dependent on externalities for a sense of self-worth. No amount of winning or having will ever make them be what they should be or ask the questions about themselves they should ask. Am I a decent person? If so, how can I help less fortunate people? It really boils down to reframing our ...
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