The Materialistic World (2015)
Chapter 1: The Consequences of Materialism
To stress on the idea that materialistic thinking is destructive, it is necessary to start this book with a thorough list of the consequences an individual will most likely face due to his or her materialistic behavior. This will help you, the reader, move on from a materialistic point of view to a more profound and non-materialistic appreciation of life. Before the cure for materialism can be discussed, its effects should be laid out:
Increased Debt Due to Heavy Borrowing
Many individuals are struggling to stay afloat now days because they are immersed in heavy debts. Debt is not accumulated automatically; people burden themselves with debts with their own will.
A lot of people are not in debt, yet they have everything they need. They are not necessarily considered wealthy, but they have a wise way of calculating what they need and what they want. They do not borrow money just to buy what they want or what they merely think they need.
In the same vein, if you are already struggling because many banks or loaning institutions are asking you to pay off your debts, it is time to take a different and better route.
Materialism will almost certainly pile up huge debts under your name. If the amount of cash flowing out of your pockets is greater than the amount of money flowing into your bank account, high debts are inevitable. If you do not have the means, it is best to avoid buying things that you do not need. You will give yourself a much-needed break from all the credit card bills if you stop buying things that will eventually just make your closet or home appear smaller.
The aforementioned can turn into a continuous cycle, and not everyone manages to get out of it, especially if they have never paused to reconsider their materialistic thinking. You must first accept that you need to stop concentrating on getting more material things, before you can determine the cure for your predicament. Only you can get yourself out of this pit.
Obtaining expensive items may seem to be among the most effective instruments to boost one’s confidence, but this is a deception of the mind. Unfortunately, materialistic thinking is greatly misguided and unfounded, despite how convincing it may feel. You can have the best-looking shoes in the room or the best home theater system in the neighborhood; however, these things won’t help you develop genuine self-confidence, especially if you consider long-term self-esteem.
You will end up with a worsened self-image in the long run if you rely on material goods to prop up yourself, because you will be basing your greatness on things that can get worn out and are easily breakable. No matter how beautiful an object is, it will eventually get damaged and you might have to buy it again. If this particular object is not a necessity, you will also end up wasting money during this process. Many people try to use money to fill in a void in their identity, but this effort is inevitably in vain.
A time will come when your desire to have everything will significantly affect the way you carry yourself. You may not always have the financial capability to buy what you want, which will eventually give fuel to your frustrations. What if you do not have the newly-revealed clothing line of a world-renowned brand? What if you can’t afford to buy brand new shoes to add to your large collection?
If you want to have a better and more beautiful self-image, do not build your confidence on material things. Instead, build your confidence on having a great character and healthy relationships. Also, you should foster confidence by developing yourself in ways that can positively contribute to the growth and happiness of others.
The term “new” can come to mind when one speaks of satisfaction. Yes, other concepts such as “efficient” and “durable” may also be considered, but many overestimate the satisfaction they receive from something brand new. People generally seek new things—new experiences and new relationships—and it is no secret that most would prefer to have a brand new mobile phone, car, and house rather than a used one.
Materialistic individuals are never satisfied, and this dissatisfaction can easily affect other areas of their lives. If you continue on the path of materialism, you won’t find the satisfaction you are looking for. You will only have this constant desire to have what is new and better. A person may have just bought a smartphone a week ago, but if a new model has debuted since, he’ll be subject to the strong urge to buy another one.
The same goes for people who follow the latest fashion trends. These individuals won’t usually think twice about buying a shirt with a 4-digit price tag if it’s the current trend. Satisfaction will certainly remain out of one’s reach regardless, because materialism does not allow an individual to be satisfied. It just gives you a few drops of cold water as you traverse the hot desert. You simply won’t ever have enough.
Many psychologists say that hoarding is a sign of an unhealthy viewpoint in life. Often, materialistic individuals are also hoarders, because they are not keen to let things go even if these can no longer be used. After all, according to hoarders, “more is better than less.” In most cases, this principle is acceptable and practical. However, if you have a room full of clothes that you haven’t worn for years, it’s time to reconsider your principles.
When you hoard you also waste a great deal of money, which you should have used for other more important projects. Furthermore, you are wasting other precious resources. The air-conditioning or ventilation in your home will have to work extra hours because there are too many things absorbing the cold or warm air. Your utility bills will increase greatly, and once again, you will end up wasting money.
It doesn’t matter how big your home is; hoarding has never been considered by most to be a healthy lifestyle. You have too many closets because you have too many clothes and shoes to keep track of. You may also have nearly every type of kitchen utensil—most of which you may have not used for quite some time. In this case, materialism is not just about one’s wealth or financial capability—it’s also about living in a practical manner. If you use only what you need, others will also have the chance to get what they need. You and your family are not the only people in the neighborhood and the world. Share resources with others and you will experience true satisfaction.
Compromised Aesthetics and Healthy Living Spaces
Some people think that a house’s aesthetic appeal is not as important as having everything that you need. Quite the contrary; they are equally important. It’s unwise to think that beauty must be sacrificed just to meet all your needs and wants. In the discussion of materialism, people are highly discouraged to continue buying or acquiring things that will just take more space in your home, consequently covering up every space. Your living space will become less appealing and, just as relevant, less healthy to live in.
This specific consequence of materialism will quickly impact nearly every aspect of your life. Many people say that “health is wealth,” but what kind of health will you have if your home is only healthy for clutter and an abundance of possessions that you most likely do not need? If you think that by acquiring tangible goods you appear to be wealthy in the eyes of others, you are encouraged to think again.
You may have seen many home designs in various lifestyle magazines and noticed that a simple life is enough to have a beautiful home. You can still have everything you need, and some of the things you want, without negatively affecting the health of your family and the aesthetics of your home. Something that at first might seem to be a good indication of one’s purchasing power and financial freedom can just as easily make an individual appear desperate and gravely disorganized.