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Materialistic Happiness


Materialism is a tendency to consider material possession and physical appearance as more important than spiritual values. When associated with happiness, it becomes rather oxymoronic. Materialism when extreme, can give a negative impact on to a person’s life as it consumes the person’s mind. For instance, a business tycoon will always scavenge for more money than he already has to please himself and everyone around him. In simpler terms, he is money-orientated and is excessively concerned with material possessions that he forgets the simplest definition of happiness. This obsession can lead to difficult circumstances.

Materialism often involves an ongoing stereotype well-known in today’s society. Say, body image and appearance. Body image is a very controversial topic to discuss due to its close-minded perception. However, I am not one to judge on a person’s body size to say they are beautiful. The point is, materialism is increasingly clouding people’s perception on all matters. Be it appearances or public statuses; these are what deemed as true success today. During this materialistic phase, people often diverge from growing to be a better individual spiritually. Real responsibilities are neglected. Sometimes, even true beings are left behind when a lavish item is offered.

Quoting from Dave Andrews, “being materialistic is not ‘being rich’ - but it is wanting to be rich”. Statistically, the percentage of the population believing wealth is essential rose from 39% in 1970 to 74% in 1990. As proven in a research, high levels of insecurity and low levels of self esteem are suggested to be two of the main reasons of society’s obsession with materialism. It is often brought about by a divided family, a less nurturing parent, a low socio-economic background or even a near-death experience. The research also shows how low level of self-esteem is stirred by either an experience of neglect or rejection, the development of a negative self-image or so, the manipulation of a fragile and impressionable self-image created as a dangerous trend today. 

Some believe that materialism is driven by envy. Others, however, might think it is a disorder associated with depression and low self esteem issues. Generally speaking, materialism is everywhere and has subconsciously taken over the world. The notion of “money can’t buy happiness” is still very true, but do keep in mind that we are living in a materialistic world. We live in a world where earning an income to fend for themselves becomes a marathon on who is the richest man in the country. Of course, everyone wants to afford luxury to display their product of hard labour. However, I believe it is the intention that distinguishes if it is materialism or happiness. By now, you would understand that the title of this article is surely oxymoronic and has a fine line to each meaning, making it a difficult concept for society to grasp. 

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