The Materialistic World (2015)
Chapter 4: The Remedy of Materialism
Although prevention is better than cure, the remedy for materialism should still be known. Now that you are more familiar with the consequences of materialism and how it impacts the lives of each and every person no matter what age group they are in, you are ready to be receptive to the cure. Indeed, you may have finally begun considering some form of solution to address the problem of materialism. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to get away from materialism. The strategies provided below are not only effective, but also simple and easy to do. You will understand the different types of exits you can take as you read along.
Become Environmentally Conscious
The environment has the ability to naturally heal itself. What it can’t do, however, is outpace the harmful and selfish activities of men and women. The fast-paced and highly materialistic lifestyle of the world is seriously adversely affecting the planet. You may think this is just another reminder to go green, but the issue of environmental preservation and the elimination of materialistic behavior are closely related. This is why carbon footprints are measured.
If a person is materialistic, his carbon footprint is most likely larger than that of another individual who’s not. Your contribution to the planet’s deterioration is closely linked to your consumption. The more you purchase, consume, and utilize, the more industries or companies have to produce. Since demand is so high, the production must keep up. This essentially means that the more materialistic people become, the faster the destruction of the environment will be.
Make an effort to recycle or reuse things even if you think that buying a few new things won’t make much of a difference. Every small act counts and helps. By having your broken toaster repaired instead of getting a new one, you save money and time. You do not have to go on a trip to the mall just to get a new one, and while there, be tempted to buy several other things which you may not need. You also help to save the environment by not having so much stuff to throw away. Since your home won’t be filled with so many things, you will also avoid throwing a lot of things away in the future, in your attempts to de-clutter. It is certainly a win-win situation; both you and the environment win.
Avoid Watching Too Much Television
When you watch television, you are inevitably exposed to numerous advertisements. Those dreaded home shopping networks really know how to make something look very appealing. Many take the bait and are eventually face to face with a bunch of things they do not really need. Yes, salespeople have one job: to sell a product. There are many people who are quite good at selling things. At times, even if an average guy is hesitant to buy a bottle of shampoo, a seasoned salesperson can effortlessly change his mind.
This does not have to be the case for you, though. You can avoid getting into such situations if you choose to not be exposed to them. Although there are door-to-door salespeople, who are also good at selling various products, you can considerably decrease your chances of making unnecessary purchases if you turn the television off and find other ways to be entertained. Once again, effort is needed in doing this and changing your lifestyle to a less materialistic one, but you will find it is well worth it.
Even if you are not watching many commercials or product presentations, you are still vulnerable to the influence of the media. Businesses will use each and every opportunity to sell their products to you because that’s the only way their income can increase. It’s natural for them to do their best to make every product as enticing as possible. However, it shouldn’t be natural for buyers to immediately respond to every ad with a troubling level of excitement, eager for another purchase. It may be the job of advertisers to promote their products, but it’s the responsibility of consumers to be wise, careful, and collected when considering buying a product.
Avoid Excessive Web-Surfing
In essentially the same way as outlined in the prior section, consumers are encouraged to avoid surfing the web too often. The World Wide Web has increasingly become the top advertising instrument for most businesses across the globe. You will deal with a surplus of pop-up ads, site banners, and online product offers that can easily render the average person’s strong will useless. If you are materialistic, internet-surfing will definitely be one of your greater Achilles’ heels.
Since globalization is now an apparent reality, even the dissemination of information regarding certain products and the shipping or delivery of said objects has become easier. Unfortunately, this also means that the process of becoming materialistic, or being even more consumed by materialism, is growing ever simpler. The internet is a helpful source of information, but it can also be an ally of materialism. You should not let yourself be exposed to many online ads. Materialism can be cured, and staying away from the internet for a while will help you to do so.
Consider Buying Used Appliances
Garage sales are ideal sources of much-needed furniture, fixtures, clothing, and other things. You do not always have to buy new things, but this doesn’t mean you should buy just anything. You will surely need to buy brand new clothes every now and then, for example. Fortunately, you can often find several used (but beautiful and very wearable) outfits at various bazaars and garage sales, lessening the amount of times you have to buy new clothes. Ideally, you won't just be doing this because they are cheaper, but because you are also helping other people out in so many ways.
For instance, the family that’s selling their sofa may really need the money to help pay some of their bills. The sofa still looks great, and it’s also a good bargain. Materialistic individuals are generally drawn towards new and pricey things, but wise and controlled shoppers buy what they can use without thinking about how much they can brag about its price tag or where they bought it to others. Prioritize function, and then proceed to aesthetics.
Stop Considering Shopping as a Recreational Activity
Shopping is not a sport. You can never put "frequent and fast shopper" on your résumé, because it is not a skill! It's only an occasional activity. You may shop with your friends and relatives. But still, if you shop too often, it’s a sign of being materialistic. You need to stop considering shopping as a recreational activity.
If you want to cure your materialism, stay out of the mall for a long time and look for other ways to “entertain” yourself. You can opt to do this on your own—soul-searching or a one-person road trip—or with your loved ones. You can have fun, learn new skills, and even meet new people. When you shift your focus from shopping every week, you will start experiencing real joy, which it's something money can't buy.
Another important cure that you may require or find useful is decluttering. Decluttering is one of the most liberating things you can do for yourself. It may seem intimidating at first, but it will become easier once you get started and the more often you do it.
Your home or living space directly affects the way you get in or out of a materialistic point of view. A clean home is a clear sign of a healthy family. It’s also an indication that you are very serious about not letting your material possessions consumes you and your family. This is a crucial step, particularly when your home has become one big stock room. Your clothes are filling each drawer, your tools are placed in various odd places, and your furniture can’t even be seen under the piles of things you have bought. It’s time to clean things up and throw away stuff you do not need.
Remember, the more you consume, the more you become enslaved by your belongings. This is also why we should always reconsider when we are purchasing something that is not a “need”.