Materialism has entangled us so much that we don’t even realize that we have become slave of so many not-so-essential things. To take an example, just imagine how disturbed we get if we lose access to our mobile or internet or car for just a while.

One of the reasons for this is that we are living in a society that promotes materialism. In today’s world, our mind is consciously and continuously being programmed, on a daily basis, by advertisements and other media; as a result of which, we begin to believe that by eating this or drinking that or using this or wearing that, we become healthy, happy, trendy or frenzy. And with this belief we make up our mind to make these materialistic things a part of our life. The materialistic world keeps throwing at us new and new things, and thereafter also latest models of every such thing, along with special offers, handsome deals, discounted prices, and what not, only to lure us to buy things which we never required in the first place.

And as a parent, we effortlessly pass this malady to our kids too. While meeting other parents, the only topic of our discussion is ‘the marks, the achievements and the possessions of my child vis-à-vis yours’, as if we are in a race to nurture a materialistic mindset within everyone around, so that it becomes a common belief that education is all about acquiring marks and medals; rather than learning and evolving as human being.

And the common questions that poor kids face from any acquaintance is mostly regarding either the marks he scored in exams, or the rank he procured in extra-curricular activities or the new gadget or shoes or jewelry that he is using or wearing. Such talks unknowingly develop a materialistic outlook within the tender mind, who grows up to believe that ‘the measure of my success and importance in life depends on what I have to my credit’. And thus, the child eventually gets caught into a mad rat race of competition for ranks or futile things that he should have, just because his peers or friends have it.

And when kids demand anything, we are so eager to fulfil their wish without any delay that not thinking enough, we just rush to provide them with whatever they want. This automatically develops the mentality of ‘I must get what I want as soon as I want’ in the innocent child, in his early childhood itself. The concept of “earn and use” or the rationale of “do you really need this” seem to have been discarded and lost in thin air. And the unfortunate thing is that we do not even understand the devastating consequences of such upbringing that can come about in the child’s later life.

Few of the consequences of materialism, worth a mention are:

● Our future generation is getting moulded into a haughty and impatient human being.

● Most of the adult generation is in debt. We spend before we earn and hence invite unnecessary worries and tension in life.

● Those with materialistic riches are suffering from serious mental ailments and are having to undergo psychiatric treatment, as they are surrounded by lot of gold but do not have any love or warmth of people in their life.

● Materialism and contentment never go together. We always remain unhappy because we are not satisfied with what we already have. And therefore cases of deep depression are on the rise in this materialistic world, where people are in a mad race of achieving higher and higher materialistic goals, but have no enriching purpose of life left with them.

● By accumulating external strength of wealth and power, one becomes more and more fearful and in the process loses all his inner strength. We have become so dependant on the materialistic things in our life that in spite of having so much, if for some reason we do not get any one item that we wish to have, we become desperate, we lose our temper, we become violent and lose all our peace.

We are always yearning for material things in anticipation that these things will bring us real and genuine happiness. But do you know, it really can’t?
For real happiness lies in the right understanding. And this understanding, we can only receive from the Enlightened being. When a Living Gnani Purush graces us with the right knowledge which is the key to permanent happiness, the obsession of materialism begins to gradually die out. We then are in a position to enjoy peacefully what comes to us naturally, and do not matter at all for things that are not destined to come our way.

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Author's Bio: 

Stepless path of Akram Vignan