They are the signs that we perceive as markers of success – the big house in the expensive suburbs, the expensive car, the latest and greatest accessories.
I consider status symbols belittle a person – that you having to advertise your success is an indication that you aren’t. All you are advertising is your insecurity – you need to impress and have peer approval. If you are really successful, people already know who you are.
So how do we identify when enough of something is truly enough? Possessing a dishwasher when you have a large family makes sense – but do you require a unit that merely washes, or do you really need one that pretends that it isn’t there, that opens and closes the door itself and can dispense its own detergent?
Should a car need be anything more than four wheels and an engine? If it gets you from A to B reliably, doesn’t cost a fortune to maintain and has a reasonable safety rating, do you need anything more? When I was doing the delivery run for a computer shop I was working for years ago, I would often park the company van next to a BMW or Mercedes of a consultant. Such a vehicle is intended to impress and advertise success but all it said to me was that this person charges far too much and isn’t competent enough to get a vehicle suitable to the job. Let’s see you fit an A3 colour laser printer in your convertible Audi, mister.
The most expensive oven and cooktop on the market can’t save you if you are the kind of of cook who burns water, no matter how many episodes of Masterchef you watch.
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