To begin, Epictetus was a slave who lived a life of poverty and simplicity (Austin 536). He goes into depth about stoicism, which is the acceptance of always having the bare minimum. According to Epictetus, always having a desire to want things is a bad idea. He notes how purchasing new items could be very dangerous. It is dangerous because individuals will no longer appreciate their new purchases and will always worry about losing it and wanting something better. The wealthy are guilty of doing this because they have the money to afford high-end products. The more stuff that one has, the more stressful he or she will become. For example, a popular present-day invention is the iPhone. Every year, Apple introduces a new iPhone for purchase. As soon as they release the new product, people go crazy because they must have it. IPhones are very delicate, and prone to break easily, so if it is broken or lost, the owner will become very stressed and angry. Living in a materialistic world may have its perks, but s...
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... (Nafisi 81-154).
Social stratification is an issue that has been present for centuries, and is the reasoning behind inequality. Figures such as Epictetus, William Hogwarth, Mohandas Gandhi, and Simone Weil all emphasized their opinion on social status. Epictetus felt that individuals often become dependent on materialistic goods and Hogwarth felt that the poor sometimes escape their realities by consuming alcohol. On the other hand, Gandhi and Weil both feel that everyone should be considered equal, no matter the circumstance. People are often judged based on their wealth and social status, not how they are as a person. Despite the fact that there is inequality in every aspect of our daily lives, we should consider evening the playing field so there is not such a large gap in society. Doing so will positively benefit how we look at one another and benefit humanity.
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