By Dr. Kate Laffan
As part of the LSE festival last week The Behavioural Science Hub Team were let loose on the walls of The New Academic Building. A lick of chalk paint later, the LSE community and visitors to the festival were given the opportunity to respond to the following question:
Poverty, unemployment, poor housing and ignorance can all be great sources of misery – no one will disagree. Yet society encourages us to continue reaching for more: more wealth and prestigious work, bigger and better homes, and more education long after the point that they promote wellbeing. The social narrative demands that you reach, but the experience says ‘enough!’. In a world of inequality, to challenge this reaching narrative, we need to move from a culture of “more please” to one of “just enough”. Tell us, what is enough for you?
It turns out “enough” means very different things to different people. Food, family and fairness all featured heavily. For some people, it’s was about not having to worry about money, someone else just wanted goulash, one person was after a journal publication in The New England Journal of Medicine (which in fairness had a 2016 Impact factor of 72.406!), while somebody else wanted the establishment of “full luxury gay space communism”.
Together the responses paint a heartwarming, often hilarious, picture of what is “enough”!
The project was inspired by the Before I Die community art project by Candy Chang and ideas in the upcoming popular science book The Narrative Trap by Professor Paul Dolan (due on shelves in early 2019) of the Psychological and Behavioural Science Department at the LSE.