Tips for avoiding affluenza

February 7, 2007

A friend in Sydney told me about this SMH piece on Oliver James’ new book Affluenza.

It is described as a culmination of research, interviews and an eight-country “mind tour”.

The countries – the United States, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Singapore and China, as well as Britain – are all at various stages of contracting the affluenza virus.

In almost all of James’s case studies there is material wealth, but a terrible sadness at their core.

This sadness, says James, is living in a society where you feel valued for your possessions, status, house and looks.

The accumulation and maintenance of these things keeps you on a treadmill that leeches life of real meaning.

His tips for avoiding affluenza are:

  • Be authentic (not sincere)
  • Vivacious (not hyperactive)
  • Playful (not game playing)

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