Materialism is defined as the tendency to believe that physical comfort and material possessions are the most significant life satisfaction source. Materialistic individuals believe that desirability and success are achieved by buying certain belongings. A possessive society concentrates more on wealth acquisition rather than cultural, intellectual and spiritual values. As a result, the coexistence and relationships among people in the community are impacted differently. Although capitalistic people have a high quest to acquire more wealth, they often forget about essential life goals. Therefore, individuals need to understand the positivity, negativity and impacts of materialism in society.
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The Pros of Materialism
Individuals who value wealth have some comfort level that those who do not, therefore benefit the community. For example, a person who earns good money can buy different goods, which increases their convenience. The living standards of the buyers and sellers of these materials are enhanced, creating a peaceful coexistence. Being materialistic positively influences a person’s emotions increasing their happiness level in the short run. These individuals have the urge to acquire new possessions every time to feel good, which translates into a happy society. A capitalistic community can receive the latest materials in the market. For example, owning the latest smartphone or laptop model requires more money, making people work more hours than usual. Therefore, people trade their time against time to buy the more advanced stuff.
A worldly person attracts people with similar characteristics in society and finds ways to make them happy. For example, a lady who values expensive handbags might surprise their friends by buying for them occasionally. This improves the relationship between people in society, therefore, creates a strong bond. There is a positive correlation between a person’s wealth and overall health. Having more possessions increases the possibility of getting enhanced medical treatment improving a person’s life expectancy and level of fitness. When people in the community are physically and mentally fit, they improve workplace performance, resulting in increased productivity. Materialistic people are respected in society, and everybody likes to be associated with them. For example, it is easier for a capitalistic person to get a partner than a poor one because they feel secure. Materialism prevents poverty when people in the society get old and retire from work, and can live harmoniously with other individuals.
The Cons of Materialism
Although the behaviour of materialism has become popular, it has implied problems in today’s societies. For example, worldly people cannot buy happiness which translates to an unhappy community. Therefore, people should work on their emotions personally before interacting with others. The consumption level of materialistic people significantly influences their well-being because they buy things which them happy. This behaviour is dangerous because their satisfaction will be affected if the materials are lost in situations such as divorce. The person becomes angry, which negatively impacts the people around them. Some communities view capitalistic individuals as selfish because wealth is all they care about but disregard the relationship with other people resulting in a bad relationship. A materialistic person focuses on showing off their wealth but does not create real value in the community. For example, an individual can earn good money and buy the latest possessions instead of giving back to society. This results in the development of different social statuses where some people are rich while others are poor.
Additionally, materialistic people attract others with similar characteristics, therefore, might become snobby. This affects the relationship between individuals because some people feel unvalued, unloved and unappreciated, resulting in low self-esteem. Being wealthy requires a person to buy more goods, leading to misuse of funds and financial constraints. People might use money unnecessarily to buy the same possession. For example, a person can purchase three different car versions instead of other buying different products. When an individual’s financial status is adversely affected, their productivity decreases, increasing poverty in the community. Materialism also contributes to air pollution because harmful gases are released from the industries where products are manufactured. This can result in adverse health issues such as asthma because large particle amounts are emitted to the environment, affecting their livelihood. The production of materials also causes global warming and soil erosion which translates to hunger and poverty. This is because the gases released pollute the surroundings and make land unsuitable for agriculture. Therefore, people should lower their consumption level to reduce the adverse effects of materialism.
In summary, materialism has significantly increased in the world and ruled societies positively and negatively. This is because capitalistic people value wealth more than happiness and good relationships with other people. The positive impact of richness is that people are respected in society, live a comfortable life, are up to date with the latest technology, and get better healthcare. On the contrary, materialism leads to mental issues, emotional instability, financial constraints, soil pollution, global warming and adverse poverty. Therefore, it is essential to work on personal happiness and satisfaction first before being a materialistic person.