March 12, 2005

In New Book, Professor Sees 'Mania' in U.S.

Originally from NYT > Arts, reBlogged by ts

Dr. Peter C. Whybrow argues in “American Mania” that we are pursuing pleasure at the expense of what can truly make us happy.
In his new book, “American Mania: When More Is Not Enough” (W. W. Norton & Company), Dr. Whybrow argues that in the age of globalization, Americans are addictively driven by the brain’s pleasure centers to live turbocharged lives in pursuit of status and possessions at the expense of the only things that can truly make us happy: relationships with other people.
“In our compulsive drive for more,” writes Dr. Whybrow, 64, a professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral science, “we are making ourselves sick.”
Especially liked the end part:
[Dr. Whybrow] suggested following the example of a man his friend saw running along the beach: “A high tide washed all the little fish onto the beach where they were all gasping for breath. So here’s this fellow scooping up each fish and throwing them back into the sea, and my friend goes up to the fellow and says: ‘This is a fruitless task. It’s not going to make any difference.’ And the fellow picks up a fish, throws it into the sea and says, ‘To this one it does.’”