You work hard to pay the bills, to buy that cool stuff, to obtain that dream car, to impress others, and so on. You may get what you want, but sooner or later, you’ll realize that those things won’t make you happy.
You’ll feel empty as if a parasite’s poisoning your soul: “What’s wrong? What is missing? What did I do?” As the famed author David Foster Wallace once said,
If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth.
We were deceived by the media, by some companies (and schools). They conditioned us to believe in certain things, which are in fact, nothing to do with obtaining real happiness, or fostering love, or living a peaceful life.
Instead of being busy building wealth, why not help nurture peace? Instead of hoarding material possessions we don’t need, why not appreciate what we have? And instead of hate, why not spread love?
The point isn’t to become perfect individuals or to completely let go the desire of gaining more money. Perfecting ourselves is impossible. And letting go of our innate desire for wealth can be challenging. It’s hard.
Of course, we need money to survive. That’s why we want to find a job to support our family. But if we are only motivated by the desire to gain more, impress others, and meet our endless wants, then that could be a sign that we have probably lost sight of what truly matters in life — love, peace, and true happiness.
Think about it. Does obtaining more make us really happy? Does it make our lives (or our planet) peaceful? Does it add time we could have spent for our loved ones, for our passions?
As Morrie Schwartz admonished in Tuesdays With Morrie [emphasis mine]:
“We’ve got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country… Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it–and have it repeated to us–over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.”
Remember, money is not the goal. If you exchange love, peace, and happiness for the sake of acquiring more money, then you miss the whole point.