Why it’s OK to be Materialistic!
When was the last time someone told you “you are very materialistic” or worse “You are a Gold digger” or did a random preachy whatsapp message - on how the key to happiness is to enjoy the little things in life and stop chasing ‘material pleasures’ – got you thinking if indeed you could describe yourself with the tabooed adjective ‘Materialistic’
Somehow our brain has been conditioned from the beginning to believe that the word ‘Materialistic’ has a negative connotation and you would immediately feel compelled to come up with some kind of a lame remark to slime out of the blame, or worse be pushed into a self introspective mode (when you finally get the time after catering to your materialistic pursuit.. that is…) and offer several justifications to your own self, of how indeed you have had one of the most challenging of life journeys and it hasn’t been an easy ride and how you are not just doing it for yourself and your mind quickly draws out a list of benefactors who have been enjoying the fruits of your single minded focus.
Lets see what the term Materialistic means. The dictionary has a range of terms to describe this adjective – Ranging from ‘Money Oriented’ to ‘Worldly’ to ‘Acquisitive’ to the forbidden guilt inducing term – ‘Greedy’
Is it really that bad to be any or all of these in current times? – NO!
Human life can be broadly divided into 4 phases, hypothetically speaking –
The Human Phase – Age 0-20
The Donkey Phase- Age 20-40
The Cow Phase – Age 40-60
The Owl phase - Age 60-80
It is more likely that you may have been thrust with the ‘Materialistic’ blame at the Donkey – Cow phase of your life. Let me elaborate it further
Generally speaking the first 20 years of the human life - The Human Phase is the best and most carefree, enjoyable period, in terms of material pleasures you are provided for, your needs are looked after and there is enough backend support to ensure you have a comfortable life.
Then the next phase – The donkey phase kicks in. That’s when you get your first exposure to the real world. You are are loaded with the sack of Life’s burden and nudged, pushed, elbowed or jolted (depending on how lucky you are) to tread along and find a way to provide for your own wants and the luxuries you so desire (for most of us the basic needs are taken care of). This the most defining period of our lives. We either make or break ourselves in this phase.
The next phase -The cow phase is the phase where you now become the Primary provider, considering there are people in your family who are in the human phase (for eg. your kids) and owl phase (Explained below; Your parents or other elders, who need your support.) This is the phase where success in your life is perceived by how well you fulfil the material needs of your dependents. You are expected to be responsible, and providing for not just your own, even their basic needs. Infact even their wants and luxuries are considered as obligations for you to fulfill. And if you are the sole provider, the task at hand seems tougher. Any shortfall in fulfilling these expectations and you run the risk of being labeled a whole range of adjectives from – ‘irresponsible’- ‘selfish’ -to a ‘complete and utter failure’
The last phase - The owl phase is where you now have from all the years, gathered enough wisdom to see life as a superior, less material and more spiritual experience and ironically even though you may now have low eye vision you've never had greater clarity on larger picture of life! This is the most immaterial phase - pun not intended! basically your needs, your wants, your desires are less in this phase and you are more or less satisfied or made peace with what you have or dont have.
Anyway coming back to my earlier point, it is only understandable that the most demanding phases of our life – the Donkey and Cow Phases- tend to drive us to the most extreme measures in a bid to realizing our ambitions and goals – monetary or achievement related – with a single minded focus. It would be fair to say then that becoming ‘materialistic’ is merely a byproduct of the pressures life lays on you.
Being materialistic gives you clearer vision of what you are aiming for, keeps your focus at the right place, saves you from unnecessary distractions of heart breaks, emotions etc. and helps you get to your goals faster.
Infact there is a higher chance of you becoming successful and soon you will have someone who will be only too willing to satiate your lesser and ‘un-materialistic’ emotional needs.
‘Money can’t buy you happiness’ but ‘Materialism can save you from depression!’
I will take it a notch higher and say that materialism can actually be a basic antidote for depression (I’m not talking clinical depression here), it gives you target specific aims and an objective for life. It gives you something to look forward to, it gives you a challenge and the satisfaction of fulfillment and once done, if you are materialistic enough you will have another objective ready to keep your mind occupied.
Materialism is a good thing because your mind is preoccupied, being materialistic keeps you goal oriented, keeps you sane, keeps your mind from becoming a devil’s workshop.
These clear cut goals of acquiring material worldly pleasures is atleast something tangible, (unlike an intangible spiritual goal) a tangible goal which demands you to use skill and talent and beckons you to strategize your way to obtain it, and once you keep achieving your materialistic targets you gain confidence and who knows you may one day become the success story who’d be giving philosophical life lessons to people who don’t know where they went wrong! As the popular old adage goes…nothing succeeds like success! So go ahead celebrate being materialistic!
Yes, I am Materialistic!
Are you apologetic about being materialistic?
© 2016 Madonnas Post