The Materialistic World (2015)
Chapter 2: How much is Happiness?
To support the idea that materialism has more harmful effects than helpful and healthy ones, it’s best to enumerate why it does not bring happiness. Happiness is one of the most essential requirements for any individual to live a fulfilling life. Everyone wants to be happy. This is one of the safest assumptions one can ever make. Some may claim to be masochistic, but their goal is to achieve happiness, even if their methods of attaining it are atypical. People look for ways to be happier, and many times they fail to find the right long-term sources of happiness. Materialism is not a viable genuine path to happiness and as you read on, you will discover why.
Someone Will Always Have More Than You
People who are materialistic are always looking for more and better items for themselves. Why? It’s most likely because they have met someone who has a better phone, gadget, blouse, or TV than they do. Another probable reason is that the neighbor has more high-fashion clothing and more beautiful and more expensive furniture. The materialistic world is an ongoing war, one which won’t end any time soon.
It’s a fact of life that someone will always be better than you at something. It may be in the area of academics, corporate world performance, or the acquisition of what is “new” and “trending.” If you constantly try to buy goods just to show that you are a better person than some of your “friends” and acquaintances, then you will just wind up frustrated. It’s an unending war because it’s a type of warfare where nobody wins. In the war of the materialists, no one can possibly win, because there is always something new to buy.
If you associate happiness with having the best and most lucrative goods, you will never be happy. If you somehow outdo a certain individual, someone else will come along and snatch the trophy away from you. Your triumph is short-lived, because you are not supposed to rely on just having material possessions to be happy. Genuine happiness comes from having the right relationships and being able to live life with passion and freedom. Do not be enslaved by materialism and money. Live your life without comparing yourself to others.
Material Things Get Worn out and are Breakable
You might possess a couple of brand new smartphones and might be very happy. You may even say that you are ecstatic because you have new “toys” to play with. However, what do you think you will happen a few months later? Do you think you will still have that excitement in your heart and sparkle in your eyes? You probably won’t. Your brand new phones will no longer be new.
Material things do not last forever. They do not even last as long as you wish they would. The word “new” is accurately defined by using the word “old.” If you base your happiness solely on an object, then your happiness will have an expiration date. It will neither last nor be helpful to your growth.
Maybe you are thinking, “but the guy at the shop said this phone is water-resistant and dust-resistant.” Well, that may be true, but it can also get stolen. This is why people should never be reliant on objects as sources of happiness and satisfaction. If this is what you are going through, then your own happiness is at risk.
You will Just Wear out Yourself
It is very tiring to keep on buying things, especially if the frequency of purchases is constantly rising and the relevance of the products to your daily life is consistently dipping. At first, you may think it is fun to just buy things without any valid reason; however, you will gradually get tired because it all seems so pointless later on. You have nearly everything you could ever want, but you are not as happy as you thought you would be.
Materialism can never fill gaps in one’s identity, which is why it can never be considered a good source of lasting happiness. People get tired and this exhaustion dries them up in every way possible. Remember that materialistic people aren’t the only ones affected by their excessive spending and frequent shopping escapades. Their loved ones also suffer from their unhealthy inclinations. Basically, everyone gets tired, partly because there is too much stuff at home and cleaning becomes even more taxing.
Another reason why it’s tiring to be materialistic is because you are urged to work harder just to fund your regular trips to malls and bazaars. You have to work overtime more often, because your current pay slip may not be enough to buy everything that you need. Do you think this is the lifestyle of a happy and satisfied individual? It’s definitely not. Instead of spending your time with family and friends, you spend it at work. Your weekends are spent shopping, not bonding with loved ones. This cycle will wear you out faster than you think.
Your Character Will Be Compromised
People who possess the right character have a higher chance of becoming genuinely happy. It’s because they have all the fundamental pillars that support a joyful existence. They see things in a sensible, practical, and positive manner, so they won’t easily be beaten down if things do not turn out as they want. Materialistic individuals are far from being practical, sensible, and optimistic. Therefore, one can say that their character also needs to be developed.
Having the right attitude, which is produced by having a great character, is very important if you are after a lifetime of happiness. Your attitude determines how you deal with other people and how you react in various situations, whether they are good or bad. This means your relationships are also on the line as you try and sail the sea of materialism. Although the effects aren’t as immediate as some may think, if you continue to focus on getting more and more each day, you will be considered a shallow individual.
Among the primary reasons why materialism should be ceased is its ability to adversely affect an individual from both the inside and outside. You will see cluttered and disorganized homes and offices, an obvious ill effect of materialism visible to any eye, but many lives are affected not because someone is spending too much time shopping, or has a cluttered space. It’s simply because that person’s changing into someone who’s focused on getting things instead of establishing and taking care of his relationships and goals in life. If you have at least one reason to stop this materialistic journey, it’s to preserve your character.