The Myth of Materialism
There are reasons to choose experiences over objects. Materialism is the ideology that holds that physical possessions and material wealth are the most important goals in life. We all know the value of materialism but there is a spectrum on which we can place ourselves. Some of us emphasize experiences like traveling to a new country and exploring a new landscape. Others prioritize cars, clothes, and jewelry.
Let’s explore how materialistic society influences our lives and how it affects us. What are the consequences of our attitudes and why we should try to connect to others.
“We live in a culture of consumerism, where we’re told to buy everything from clothes to cars, houses, and even love.-Kate Pickett
Cultivate Your Experiences
We all know some very smart people who’ve only ever experienced life through the written words of others. The interpretations of these narratives are interpreted through the lens of our own experiences. Without an adequate foundation of experience, the imagination fails to appropriately derive the true meaning behind the written word.
You can have something described to you a thousand ways but it never reaches the level of experiencing the event yourself. The representation of the event loses accuracy as the distance between your experience increases. You want to mitigate this gap in order to be a better, more-adjusted, and self-aware person.
Experiences are Unpredictable and No Two Are Alike
We often hear the phrase, “experience is the best teacher.” This is because experience connects you to other people and things in a way that things and stories cannot. Gaining experience gives you a better representation of someone’s reality.
Experience is not just about what you do, but it shapes who you are and molds who you meet. The more experiences we have, the better we can connect with others.
Experiences Create Authenticity
Experiences make you feel like you’re living authentically because they tap into your emotions and desires in ways that being stuck behind a screen can’t. You can watch someone cook a meal but it wouldn’t resonate as well as actually cooking a meal.
The difference is the tangibility of the experience. You don’t get to smell or taste the meal you observed. You also miss out on growing your talents or seeing the result of your will in action. You can even better connect with the contestants of Master Chef if you’ve had the experience of cooking a complete meal. The more authentic our experiences, the more we feel alive and real.
Experiences Create Connections
When you experience things with other people, it creates a deeper connection between you and those around you. Experiences are also more likely to be shared with others, which helps create a stronger bond. Experience can also help you get over a break-up, read How to Cope with a Breakup and Move Forward with Your Life.
Consequences of Materialism
It’s always nice to have things but there are consequences of prioritizing materialism over experience. Having a large amount of things tie you down to a place. You can’t decide just to up and move when you have all these materials weighing you down. Experiences can also be more affordable than buying things. They don’t require any money to start and they can be as simple as going for a walk or cooking dinner together.
Most importantly, it’s easy to lose yourself in objects and forget about the people around you. Grabbing a drink with a friend is worth a lot more than sitting on your couch waiting for something to happen.
Take Control of Your Life
Our time here is shorter than you’d expect. What are you going to do tomorrow? What are you going to do the next fifty years?
Take a risk.
Fail and try again. Feign interest. Fascinate others. Face rejection. Feel alone. Fight to experience what others won’t.