Why Are We So Obsessed With Material Happiness?


Photo by Ged Carroll

Different people perceive happiness in different ways across the entire universe. The generation in which my parents grew up was one where kids were taught that happiness was acquired through making an overwhelming amount of money and being able to buy anything you want. I have now come to realize that this is only one perception on the topic of happiness. Some people see happiness as a very materialistic thing, while others see it as something spiritual and optimistic for what they have.

A common theme relating to happiness that has carried over to today is materialistic happiness. As described by a famous French philosopher, Jean Baudrillard, the consumerist choice is expounded by the symbolic of something, not as much the price of this object. And in today’s case this symbol is happiness. When a consumer pays attention to the symbolic side of a material, they are willing to pay as much as ten times the normal price. Current businesses use this idea and advertise how their product can bring happiness to people. A materialistic person is never satisfied; the feeling of happiness is only a temporary one. A person who looks to materials or objects for happiness tends not to care about the happiness of family. People who have a materialistic approach to happiness are generally seen as self-centered. These people focus on trying to waste their money on products that bring them a short-term satisfaction. This is not an approach that society should teach to its youth.

Thanks for reading!


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