I don’t think we are particularly materialistic. I think we live in a society which has simply pegged certain emotional rewards to the acquisition of material goods. It’s not the material goods we want. It’s the rewards we want. And that’s a new way of looking at luxury goods. The next time you see somebody driving a Ferrari don’t think, “This is somebody who is greedy.” Think, “This is somebody who is incredibly vulnerable and in need of love.” In other words — feel sympathy, rather than contempt.
Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success.