by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Advertising and industry try to tell us – and government too – that if we just go shopping more and more for things we don't need and really can't afford and more than likely never will use will bring us happiness. That is a lie. All it does is empty our wallets and fill the coffers of industry and service providers. Happiness it will not bring us.
However, many of us fall into this trap on a daily basis, believing the advertising hype that this or that product is just what we need and that if we have but that product we will be happy and content. It does not happen. So they then go out and buy something else that is promised to bring that happiness, and again it does not happen. And so the cycle continues.
To me, but then I am weird, buying things does not – necessarily – bring me happiness. Actually saying that buying bring me happiness would be wrong anyway. Most purchases are necessities and thus happiness does not come into the equation. Making things with my own hands, and more often than not from what others would regard as trash, on the other hand does.
But, obviously, there are materialistic people about who think, and I stress the word think, that their possessions and acquiring more and more of them, makes brings them happiness but the truth is that they are becoming obsessed by their possessions.
A materialistic person is someone who tends to fall in love with their material possessions, especially luxury goods and wealth, and equates them to happiness and fulfillment. This is especially so when the owning of the
possessions is motivated by emotional reasons rather than functional reasons. An old saying of the Romani People in England is: “Possessions possess the possessor” and this, unfortunately, seem to be very true indeed. And this is true with regards to money as much as with other kinds of possessions.
The biggest problem, so to speak, is the pursuit of material possessions in the believe that by owning them we will become happy. Maybe for a few moments and then then hunt is on again for something else that the advertisers and their clients tell us will make us ultimately happy, and so the vicious circle repeats itself time and again. We spend more and more money, and use more and more of the Earth's resources, in this futile quest for happiness where happiness cannot be found.
Here I would like to put forward a definition of wealth that says: “You are rich when you are content and happy with what you have.”
Take a good look at the majority of those that are regarded as wealthy in the world's view. Do they appear to be happy? In the main they do not just appear to be not happy, they really are not. They have millions and even billions of Dollars in their accounts and otherwise accumulated but they want more and more and just do not seem to be content with what they already have acquired.
Then, in contrast, look at the “poor” that are happy and content (until someone tells them that they are living below the accepted standards and such) with what they have because they have what they need and are able to make a lot of what they want and need for themselves, as well as being able to grow their own food, and such like. Happiness does not come from material possessions; often the opposite is true. And that aside from the fact that in the pursuit for ever more possessions we are ravaging the Earth, the only Planet that we have to sustain life.