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Material Possessions - The Path To Happiness?

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In the science of Psychology, there have been many tests showing that there is no physical point in life when a subject can obtain pure enlightenment, fulfillment, or complete satisfaction of mind and body. This supports the assertion that money cannot buy happiness. Although this idea is very popular, could it be proven wrong? It seems only natural that happiness should flow from having more money. Could material possessions actually increase the happiness of a person?

In his essay titled "On Dumpster Diving," Lars Eighner discusses his experience of being homeless and having to resort to living off of other people's unwanted possessions to survive. "Some material things are white elephants that eat up the possessor's substance" (Eighner 263). It is true that a person can not physically go and buy some happiness, it must be obtained. "How" a subject would obtain happiness or "pure happiness" is the ultimate unanswered question. If a person were to go out and buy a bunch of objects, furniture, jewelry, cars, would this make them anymore pleased with themselves? Maybe it would, maybe not. One of the question's this essay is addressing is, over time would all the items someone buys, takes, or consumes to supposedly make them "happy," over time if this experiment does not work as planned, wouldn't a person over time begin to become consumed and over whelmed by all these material things. ."..but certainly mental things are longer lived than other material things" (264).

Although, these statements from Lars Eighner agree that some material possessions would consume a person in a negative way and therefore possessing them, it is almost ironic because Eighner lived on the streets and it was almost impossible for him to ...

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...s shape our lives.

In conclusion, whether or not material possessions bring happiness is up to each individual. Some people are just satisfied with saving up to buy that new car, and some are just as satisfied in putting their ideas and dreams down in an empty book, or just highlighting their favorite one.

Work Cited

Adler, Mortimer. "How to Mark a Book." The Mercury Reader. Ed. Janice Neuleib, Keathleen S Cain, Stephen Ruffus, and Maurice Scharton. Boston: Pearson Custom Pub., 2005. 211-16.

Eighner, Lars (1992) "On Dumpster Diving," New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 7. Web. 27 June, 2015.

http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol8/iss1/7

Boven, Leaf Van and Gilovich, Thomas. "To Do or to Have? That Is the Question." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychological Association, Inc., 2003. 1193.
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