Wallace and de Botton

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  • Topic: Alain de Botton, Complaint
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  • Published : May 1, 2013
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Wallace and de Botton
David Foster Wallace informs a graduating class that in order to succeed, they need to learn how to think. Wallace gives examples of selfish thinking; he asserts, “We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us” (Wallace 201). Wallace argues the fact that people have a tendency to not think about being in someone else’s shoes. His speech states the importance of awareness thinking and how that can be a better overall education. Alain de Botton reaches out in a similar direction in his essay, “On Habit.” De Botton educates his audience on thinking in a way of your surroundings. He remarks the importance of slowing down and appreciating your everyday location, just as if you were on vacation. These two authors are educating their audience on better ways to think. Their goals are to change your perspective on life, to stop and think once and a while. Wallace makes a point of selfish thinking and to avoid judging society’s actions for a better life style. Botton educates his audience in the same direction, but a slight turn to a more positive way; to appreciate anywhere you go. He gives an example of sitting in your bedroom and finding something new and noteworthy, just as if you were sitting on the beach in the Caribbean’s. It seems these days society gets so caught up in world issues like gun control, politics, wars and the economy and quickly judging opinions; thinking differently and enjoying the better part of life is a skill worth achieving.

Wallace and de Botton both want to educate society into thinking differently to better their lives. As de Botton reaches the end of his essay, he asserts, “We meet people who have crossed deserts, floated on icecaps and cut their way through jungles—and yet in whose souls we would search in vain for evidence of what they have witnessed” (de Botton 53). This quote represents what both Botton and...
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