The Importance Of Materialism

780 Words4 Pages
Humans across time are and have been very attached to material items. Humanity as a whole seems undecided about whether this attachment is a good or bad thing. The central concept behind the buddhist religion is of distancing oneself from attachments to the material world (financial wealth, physical objects, etc...) in order to reach enlightenment, and in the afterlife, the heaven-like Nirvana. On the other hand, many socio-political systems, capitalism especially, rely on this materialism in order to thrive. In truth, materialism is not entirely good or bad, speaking in terms of both the self and society, and while it is capable of corruption, it can also be a driving motivation in improving one's identity. As identity-destroying as obsessive…show more content…
The capitalist society in which we live has developed an unspoken caste system around the material wealth and worth of a person. Specific clothing brands, access to technology, access to education, and modes of transportation are all seen as indicative of not only a person’s social class, but often times also causes assumptions to be made about his or her character, and since this is such a major part of our society, we as people have been brainwashed into defining ourselves in the very same way. The desperate desire to be wealthy- and therefore valuable according to our social class system- has a rotting effect on the soul. Spending so much energy and attention on the superficial forces the individual to neglect other aspects of the world. To use an old aphorism, man cannot enjoy the color of the sky if his eyes are cast down at his pocketbook. The incredible beauty of the world in which we live soothes the soul, while the pursuit of material wealth corrupts it. Floating in a wealth-clouded oblivion to this beauty disconnects one from him/herself, and much of a person’s identity can be lost in this…show more content…
In careful amounts, identity can remain unharmed, or even be found anew, using material aid. However, the attention and time one spends on increasing his/her material value can very easily crowd out other more meaningful aspects of existence. Once an unfortunate soul is perverted in such a way, what remains of the identity can be altered to better satisfy the increasing need for material wealth. The line between safety and corruption in terms of ownership of earthly riches is maintained by the discipline to receive joy from these riches, while also keeping in mind the astronomical joy and tranquility that the simple, immaterial parts of existence can already
Open Document