We would not permit, say, one political party to flourish and deny the chance for another to do the same. Or, to shift the imagery, we would not want our daughters to flourish but not our sons. Why, then, are we satisfied to let some neighborhoods in a city languish, or some schools in a district fail? Why are we willing to let some countries deteriorate?
Materialism becomes an obstacle when we start allowing things or the desire for things to control us, to keep us focused on things outside ourselves rather than on things that would be truly beneficial to us, such as our spiritual development, our relationships, our learning, our peace of mind.
Materialism is a distraction. It gives us a direction in which we can focus our attention and our energies that seems to be attainable. After all, if I want a new stereo system or a closet full of new clothes, all I have to do is pay money or use credit to get them.
I know which ones I want, and I know where to find them. The people who sell things have made it so easy for us to buy that fulfilling our materialistic cravings never has been easier, which is a very unfortunate fact for the millions of people who are now trapped under a mountain of debt with no realistic way out.
But what are our motives when we Happiness of life essay our materialism? Why do we want or have to buy things to satisfy our cravings? Are we working towards happiness in life? If so, we have thousands of examples to see of people who have been "successful" in acquiring material wealth, but who have been miserably empty inside.
Again, we have tons of anecdotal evidence that tells us that the feeling of contentedness that comes from buying something fades rather quickly after the purchase is made, leaving us feeling just as empty as before. Many people feel that by acquiring just the right material goods, they can make other people see them in a positive light.
In other words, they buy their new car or clothes or electronic gadget in order to impress others. Charles Dickens knew all about materialism, and he gave us the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol to illustrate the problems with materialism.
As a youth, Scrooge was treated very poorly by his family, which led him to look to money as a form of security, something that he could trust. His love for money leads him to lose the woman he loves, and after that he leads a lonely, bitter existence as his life becomes simply a quest for more and more material wealth.
The Spirits show, him, though, just how many people are able to be happy at Christmas without the benefit of material wealth, and this helps to lead him to see just how flawed his thinking has been, and just how miserable he has become by focusing only upon the material and never cultivating friendships, relationships, or spiritual growth.
Once his focus shifts from the material to the spiritual, Scrooge is able to become a happy man. After he steals virtually all of the material reminders of Christmas from Whoville, the Grinch waits to hear their cries of despair as the Whos wake up in the morning.
Instead of wailing, though, he hears them singing--even though they had had material wealth and many presents and a great feast, their focus was still on their spiritual side. The spirit of Christmas "came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!
They are able to be happy without them. Nowadays I have a strategy for determining whether I truly need something, or if this something is simply appealing to my desire for material goods. If not, the urge to buy it usually will fade fairly quickly. I also try to look at my interactions with other people as objectively as I can.
Are we talking about things and gadgets, or are we talking about things that matter, like how to become better teachers or parents or friends? How do I feel if someone criticizes something that I have? But is our materialism so strong that it keeps us from focusing on the truly important aspects of our lives?
No doubt we would all agree with the sentiment: Certainly we cannot enjoy the basics of food, shelter, and clothing without a concern for things. The truly important things of life, however, are those which cannot be encountered by the physical senses, purchased with money, or placed on a shelf.
When we take a look at what we value most in life, we generally find family, friends, health, peace, contentment, laughter, helping others, and communion with God foremost on our list of priorities. In both our work and our leisure, I think, we should be so employed.
And in our time this means that we must save ourselves from the products that we are asked to buy in order, ultimately, to replace ourselves.The Democrats are right, there are two Americas. The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.
"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives three examples of the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their creator.
FAITH | LEARNING | COMMUNITY.
In the way of Jesus, St Joseph’s Catholic High School aspires to respect and celebrate the dignity of all. Inspired by the life of St Joseph, the school promotes a culture of faith, justice and service.
Published: Mon, 5 Dec Bereavement – This can be a very traumatic time for a child or young person, bereavement can affect concentration, memory and learning.
Read the latest stories about LIFE on Time. Jul 03, · 3 ways to pursue 'thick' happiness. First, the most important thing is to realize that the happy life is about more than just me: my health, my wealth, my safety and security.