In the society in which we live in, it’s easy to confuse material things and money with happiness. The truth is that we’re constantly being told that you can achieve anything if you simply have material possessions. It’s as if everything had a price and could be bought with coins and bills.
However, is he who has more possessions really the richest? It may seem like it, but if we’re referring to emotional richness, its price is different. He who can enjoy the company of the people who fill him with joy and the small pleasures in life. He who can enjoy the fruits of his hard labor, he is truly the happiest.
Materialism is momentary
It’s true that material things facilitate our circumstances and at times even grant us happy moments. Nevertheless, this is a momentary happiness. Physical riches can free us from vital necessities such as hunger, or they can reduce our sadness. But in the long run, wealth won’t increase our psychological well-being.
Hence, it’s beneficial to keep in mind the simplicity with which we can become slaves to materialism. Furthermore, we must face this fact. Putting a price on everything is a way of making our lives comfortable, but it is also very dangerous. To see material possessions as an objective in itself is clearly a sign of slavery.
In fact, a person isn’t defined by what they own, but rather by who they are. Limiting ourselves to judging others based on what they possess can give us a false and generally poor perspective about what someone can give us.
“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called commodities of life are not indispensable. Instead, they are obvious obstacles in the elevation of the spirituality of humanity.”
-Henry D. Thoreau-