Is getting something better than giving something. When you receive something, do you appreciate it? When you give something, do you want to be recognized for doing it? Getting something often leads to wanting something else and so forth and so forth. Where does it stop?
Materialism is just the state of chronically wanting something new and never being satisfied. People who are materialistic often do not recognize this about themselves. They are too busy patting themselves on the back with each new acquisition and looking ahead to what they have to have next. Materialism builds the economy. I don’t know what else it does.
If we not so busy acquiring new things and finding a place to put them we might stop, rest, and catch our breath. This could be quite peaceful. Often people are so busy acquiring things, they are too busy to enjoy them and sometimes, the purchase is wasted because it is never used or even thrown out and rejected.
Often our materialism even bleeds over and effects our children. We become competitive with other parents and have to have the biggest, and most unusual birthday party for them. Sometimes, the children are even too young to appreciate them. One attraction is often enough and since the attention spans of children can be short; they may tire of the party and need a nap or need real food besides candy, cake, and pop.
Materialism often leads to buying things and doing things that are impractical and require more upkeep than they are worth. Gas logs can be better than wood fires in a fireplace and of what use are several different homes requiring upkeep that are used infrequently. It has always seemed to me that skillfully planned and meticulously cared for gardens are wasted unless there are people around to enjoy them.
How often have people been led astray when they develop covetousness? People see what other people have or they are taken in by advertisements that promote buying something new or different that everybody will want to have next. I am a helpless fan of HGT TV and think that I want to have a kitchen with granite countertops and should paint my walls in shades of gray instead of beige. Both you and I know these decorating trends will fall out of fashion and demolishers will take their sledgehammers to perfectly good counter tops and cabinets and trash them to make room for whatever new trend is being advertised.
It is even worse with women’s fashion and I am guilty of this too. I can tell when my wardrobe is looking out of date and throw away or give away things that are not in style anymore that I still could wear. I read a high-level fashion magazine where items of clothing and accessories sell for thousands of dollars. Some of them are very attractive and I would like to get one of them but don’t have the dough. I did buy a name brand fashionable purse once and was very proud of it and I carried it until I wore it out. Surprise, surprise.
I am not offended when people pay more money for well made, name brand shoes and purses that they will keep longer than a less well-made item. The same can be true of clothing, but sometimes I see skimpy fashion items without linings or support of underlying supportive material that ordinarily would add cost to the dress, blouse, or skirt. I am not surprised that men, however, seem to do this and their clothes, however,expensive, seem to last longer than women’s clothes. and their styles do not change that much.
Cars are also set up for planned obsoleteness. I, however, would like an attractive, well-made car with good mechanical reliability that I could not wear out quickly and/or not replace until it did or until I found a newer car with features not available when I bought my first car. A sign of the weakening of the economy is when older cars begin to have more value because people can not afford to buy newer cars.
It is interesting to note that people are now seeking out and buying vintage items of clothing, furniture, and accessories. Things are still not considered to be antiques until they are much older than things considered vintage. Wouldn’t it be nice if people developed their own tastes and focused upon buying things that were genuine and well made because they could not be easily replaced?
Do we focus on things rather than experiences? Do we rate experiences by how expensive the things that we use in these experiences are and not how it felt? Consider weddings, for example, people often value their wedding experiences based on how much they cost.
For example, there was a wedding on the farm on the lawn and a simple fried chicken meal catered by the local grocery store which was served buffet style in a newly built hay barn. There were individual cupcakes instead of an expensive wedding cake. Appetizers were served from an ice cream bar manned by some of the bride’s friends.
The bridesmaids all bought their matching sundresses on sale at their local J.C. Penny stores. The lovely music was provided by the local church’s bell choir. The wedding dress was a sample and was not specially ordered. The only participant in a fancy dress was the bride’s shepherd dog as the flower girl. The guys wore khakis and polo shirts in coordinating colors.
All the cars were parked in an open field. Folding chairs were set up on the front lawn for the service. The officiant was a family member. Just imagine what the whole thing would have cost if the bride had it catered, used a wedding planner, and had rented a special venue. Would the memories have been the same?
Materialism leads to clutter and the need for more and more space to store the stuff in. Often these things require special care and take up time that could be used to do other things. The Vanderbilt Mansion in North Carolina is something to see and contains many rare items which you might not see anywhere else, but it and its contents cost so much to maintain that it is almost too expensive to visit because of the entrance fees that need to be charged to maintain it.
Materialism can also lead to people seeking the fame associated with having such rare and expensive things. Things can also become obsolete and need to be replaced by newer, betterer and rarer things. Materialism is the love of things and can depend on the reinforcement provided by others.
Materialism would have trouble existing in a vacuum where no one cares about it. Imagine sometime in the future and some useless object that was part of a fad was found by someone from the future. For example, what would that person think if he or she found a stash of hula hoops?
Two years ago in November I went to Sedona, Arizona, to find myself; but I did not want to take any old trip or stay in any hotel or spa. I wanted it to be a form of a retreat. I went to find myself and for that reason, I wanted to go alone. I found the site for Sedona Soul Adventures which offered an individualized retreat with three days of personally designed spiritual retreat with appointments with local practitioners of meditation, massage, and other types of personalized spiritual experiences.
(If you call Soul Adventures and set up a retreat, mention that you found them on this website.)
I wound up staying in a Yoga house in Sedona and I had my own room and the offering of vegan meals for a set affordable price. I was also directed to a local agency to rent a practical older car in good shape. I set up two experiences on my own: a visit to a power vortex with my own guide and a one-day bus trip to the Grand Canyon
It was a wonderful experience and it was all part of my goal to establish who am I really? Do you know who you really are? Even before birth, various experiences shape you and determine who you are going to be. Are you thinking right now, “Wait a minute, I know who I am.” But do you know how you got to be that way?