I’m fond of shiny things. I like nice TV’s, fancy gadgets, fun toys, and anything that’s new. I suppose in a way I’m as materialistic as people come. I enjoy giving away shiny things as much as I enjoy receiving them, because I want other people to enjoy new stuff – It makes Christmas a blast on both sides of the coin!
I see lots of people around me who seem to be fond of new, shiny things as well, except they seem to lack self-control when it comes to shiny things. We all have a friend, who, whether he can afford it or not, takes down his super expensive, super tricked out HDTV and replaces it with an even newer, absurdly fancy HDTV. I was in a situation recently with a friend with these absurd symptoms of materialism. He had just taken down his TV that he’d only owned for a couple of years, which was still a top of the line TV. He replaced it with a newer, slightly larger, much sharper TV (let’s remember that he’s got lots of bills and isn’t in a position to just throw money around). as we sat watching Netflix on his super sharp TV we couldn’t help but admire the hyper-reality it seemed to generate (as a side note, I’m made uncomfortable by some of the new TV’s out: The picture looks more real that actual reality… it’s creepy).
As we were sitting, admiring the TV, Bill (we’ll just call him Bill) couldn’t help but tell us the great deal he got on the device. The price was definitely great for the product, but still far more expensive than anything he should be been putting money into. after bragging about the TV, he took a moment to mumble to his wife (who wasn’t pleased that they had spent all the money on the new television in the first place) about how next time they would get the 64 inch somethingorother with the super HD 3D somethingerother blablabla. He was apparently unaware that her level of “Impressed” was still over matched by her level of “We can’t afford this.”
Amid this conversation, I found my cure for my materialism. Although I would never ever ever ever ever ever go to the extreme that Bill has gone to, I fall into that habit of keeping up with whoever on a fairly regular basis, wishing I had this or that. I get dangerously close to being Bill, except I usually only get to the point where I lament the price of the item I wish I had. At least I have enough sense to admit that “if I buy this, my wife will turn my life into a real life “Saw” movie. And then I’m too terrified to even think about it. I still want it, though.
But when I see someone who is that absorbed in things, it makes me realize how much nobody really cares that much (I lose interest in about .95 seconds when Bill starts bragging about his toys). I mean, it’s cool having that top of the line thing, but is it really that cool? (well… chances are, yes, it is that cool… but is it really worth it?) At least to me, when I see that price tag, my though usually goes, “Yeah… but it’s just not THAT cool.” Then I remind myself, “Hey, self! Look at Bill, there! see how he bought that sweet TV? Notice how he’s already coveting the even sweeter TV that he couldn’t afford? See how he’d be in the same place if he had never bought the second TV?” And suddenly my materialistic needs are cured, and I remember that I’m perfectly content with what I have! Plus, all the great people I have in my life would be there no matter what kind of situation I had! (okay, I know, now I’m getting sappy)
So if you think you’re feeling too materialistic, remember the Bill in your life. Remember how his obsession with “things” is ruining his ability to be content with himself, and with the good things he has! Do you want to be like Bill!? if you do… well… maybe you should read this post again…. and if that doesn’t cure you… maybe try clicking the like button 😉 … and if that still doesn’t work then… well.. try to at least enjoy that computer, or TV, or game console for a few minutes before you start needing the next one!!!!
(…. okay, you got me… I don’t know what clicking the like button would do to help cure materialism, but at least you would have my appreciation!)