Part One: Privileged World Problems
If you were to go into a third world country, or a developing nation, you would find that their life issues differ widely from our own. While their daily turmoil consists of finding medical care, clean water, and even food for their families, we are plagued with having too much...well, stuff.
What does your storage room look like? Your garage? Your kitchen pantry? If you're anything like me [although you probably don't want to be], all of these areas are overfilled with things that are super important to you. I need those five hammers! You never know which one the instruction manual may call for. I need all that tupperware. I need all those clothes packed into boxes that may or may not still be in style, and I may or may not ever fit into again.
And then there is the issue of not only being a mini-hoarder, but also needing to buy new things to replace old ones. That awesome Ikea couch? Gotta have it. That super duper makes cappuccinos and does my laundry blender? MINE. Even though I have a perfectly good sofa, and never use blenders.
Is it bad to have so much when others in the world have so little? That kind of depends on your mental standpoint. I'm the wrong person to ask, and would probably make you all super angry with my own opinion, so I'm not going to partake in this part of the conversation. Another question is whether materialism is detrimental to our well being. Is the constant desire for newer, better, morer [haha] a drag on our own happiness? Is there a happy medium between being emotionally/mentally fulfilled and taking pride in our surroundings?
Part Two: The Influence
Where does this desire for 'things' begin? If it is anything like the social norms we acquire throughout life, then it can be associated with a number of contributors; our familial surroundings and morals growing up, societal influence, and religious beliefs. No two families have the exact same proportions of each contributor, so each of your own feelings and opinions are going to be different. And sometimes one contributor impacts with more power than that of another contributor. Every single one of them go hand in hand, though.
IMO, materialism gains ground based on your own personality combined with the above factors. There is no set formula for whether or not a child will grow up needing everything, or will be happy with the basics. Some families have hardly anything, and their children grow up determined to be better off. Or they grow up happy with making memories.
No matter what kind of background you came from, if you live in a developed country you will be faced with social pressures to live a certain kind of lifestyle. What is your opinion? Does a persons background decide the kind of life they will wish for, or are social media and advertising to blame?
I'm happy with my life at the moment. Maybe I have too much stuff that I don't need, but I also regularly purge. In my own very humble opinion, materialism isn't necessarily a bad thing when dosed with a heavy spoon of reality; do I know that buying a new dining room table isn't going to make me happy for the rest of my life? Yes. But I also know that if I keep the dining room table I have now, I'm going to end up breaking it [seriously...it's hideous, and a piece of junk]. I also believe that materialism is often confused with waste. I'm covering that one next time though, so until then, what are your thoughts? Feel free to disagree, just keep it friendly!
p.s. Does it annoy anyone else that when one is trying to present both sides of the argument via images, one can only find negative connotations with the subject? I couldn't find a single positive image about materialism. Perhaps that is the world's way of trying to tell me that there is only one mindset on the subject, but it still infuriates me that only one side is presented.