How should you view material possessions?

A house full of expensive items.
Can you imagine a house literally full of thousands expensive items of all kinds and varieties?"

But, strangely enough, our getting full enjoyment from these material provisions—in fact, our getting full enjoyment from life itself—depends very much on our not making them the big thing in our lives.

How can that be? It is because there are other things that are so much more valuable than material possessions.

You can probably remember how, when you were quite small, you became very upset and maybe even ‘threw a tantrum’ when some other child wanted to play with a toy of yours.

Looking back, that attitude probably seems foolish to you now. Your sense of values has improved.

But it is easy to slip back into that childish way if we are not on guard. We need to keep reminding ourselves of what really matters in life.

You doubtless know some people that give a lot of importance to material possessions.

To some, for example, having the latest tech items on the market, very expensive items of clothing or living in a posh neighborhood is what they seem to prize the most.

Some put far more interest in those things than they do in their schooling, their families or anything else. 

They may also tend to evaluate others, yourself included, by what these have in the way of such material possessions. Does this make sense?

Stop and think about it. Does your having or not having such material possessions really make any difference in what you are as a person?

Are you a better person if you have them, or a worse person if you do not?

Actually, the most valuable possessions, the ones that really determine your worth as a person and the ones that can bring you the most satisfaction and happiness, are of a different kind.

Can you think of what some of these more valuable possessions would be?

Possessions that can bring more happiness


What about knowledge? Compare the value, say, of knowing another language with owning the latest home cinema or high powered stereo music machine. 

True, with those items you can enjoy hearing other people talk and sing—in your language.

But with knowledge of a second language you yourself might be in position to talk with as many as one hundred million more people on earth than you can with just the language you presently know.

If you ever had opportunity to travel to other lands, such knowledge could add immensely to your enjoyment of the trip—far more than watching it on TV.

Similarly with getting knowledge of how to do things such as learning how to be a good cook or a capable seamstress or an able carpenter or to be good at making mechanical repair.

These could be of far greater future value to you in doing something worthwhile in your life, for yourself and for others, than having certain material possessions.

Think, too, how much more valuable a good name or reputation is than having material possessions.

If you are known for being unselfish, honest, diligent, reliable and respectful, that can make you a welcome sight far more than any special kind of clothes could ever do.

Such a reputation can cause you to be sought after as a valuable friend or as a workmate or employee.

It can bring invitations from persons to visit them or to do things with them, to share their good things with them. Would this not solve any problem of loneliness far better than even a television set?

Really, so much of our happiness in life depends on having the assurance that we are appreciated, that we matter to others and that we contribute something to their lives that they would miss if we were not living.

Being rich in fine qualities will cause you to be appreciated far more by the best of people than would your being rich in material possessions.

Are not genuine friends far more valuable than material possessions?

True, when one has certain material possessions they may seem to give a lot of “prestige” in groups, and others may flock around to enjoy these, like flies flock around food.

But when the food is gone, the flies go. And many so-called “friends” are the same.

You might have a lavish lifestyle or even the latest car on the market and this might attract other people to you.

But what if you lose that attractive possession or what if someone else gets a better, more modern or a fancier car, how many of those “friends” will stay with you?

But true friends will appreciate you for what you are and not for what you have.

Realize, too, that such things as knowledge, a fine personality and genuine friends are things that cannot be stolen nor do they wear out and lose their value with time and use.

Conclusion


So, then, why let the present commercial systems with their high-powered advertising pressure you into building your life around material possessions?

Why enrich them and in the end impoverish yourself as far as the really worthwhile things in life are concerned?

Why not show real strength to resist the pull of materialism and show determination to get the most out of life by seeking things of greater value than material possessions?

Not that we should be without any possessions at all. But we do not want them to run our life.

And we should be able to distinguish between possessions that will really contribute to genuine happiness and those that actually could hinder our gaining that goal.

Share this post with your social networks: