Use Things, Not People

Use Things Not People
graphic © eminentlyquotable.com

“Two concepts for truly happy life:
1. Use things, not people.
2. Love people, not things.”

In a study by Fitzsimons and Fishbach, the role of personal goals in relationship closeness revealed an unfavourable human trait. Their studies showed that people draw closer to those they know can help them reach a goal. Once that goal is fulfilled, they pull away and shift their attention to other people who can help them with their new goals.

However, a study by the psychologists of University College of London and Oxford University found a different finding that disagrees with the common belief that humans are inherently selfish. Their study was to determine how much pain people were willing to inflict on themselves or strangers for money. In their experiment, they found that people would rather spare a stranger from pain than gain financially. Although the researchers promised to keep their decisions a secret, people were willing to sacrifice £8 to prevent 20 shocks to a stranger, than to pay £4 to spare themselves the same number of shocks.

The study, led by Oxford neuroscientist Dr. Molly Crockett, suggests that when it comes to harm, most people are altruistic, putting others first before themselves. “People would rather profit from their own pain than from someone else’s.”

Humans’ moral compass is still a complex subject to researchers. Social relationships are vital to happiness, as studies revealed but people still have the tendency to prioritize prestige and wealth. To quote Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard: “It’s pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed.”

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