“Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills”. This quote from Clifford Odets tells us that life does not necessarily revolve around money and material wealth. As time proceeds into a modern era, money and materialism have been one of the most influential forces in the world. Some may think that money and wealth is the way of life. They believe that everything luxurious in this world has a price and only by accumulating money and wealth can one enjoy them. In my opinion, I think that people really are becoming more materialistic.
This essay will discuss how materialism has affected people, the modern society, and the country’s economy. Materialism has geared individuals towards the path of making more money. This is so that they can afford life’s indulgences like a spacious home and expensive delicacies. They are driven by the want to enjoy a carefree and luxurious lifestyle that seems so popular nowadays. In addition, people work hard to earn more income for the purpose of affording expensive and branded items such as Chanel handbags, IPhones, and tablet personal computers.
As people become more focused on wealth and improving living standards, they tend to forget matters that are substantial in life, namely health, family, and friends. A materialistic mind-set can drive people to overspend or buy things that they cannot afford yet. This will give a domino effect on the country’s economy. Of course, the spending power of the society can help to boost the economy, as they increase sales and business opportunities. However, when people overspend to extreme ends using plastics money or credit cards and take loans that they cannot afford to reimburse them, the country’s debt margin will surely rise.
For instance, in America, banks are giving loans to individuals who aspire to own big houses that they cannot pay for. Their inability to pay for it became one of the factors that caused the collapse of America’s economy. Materialism has also affected people’s spiritual and moral beliefs. Some people are fortunate enough to have a proper occupation that they can work hard for, but some people who are jobless or have low income can also develop avaricious characteristics.
Since they cannot afford the treats in life yet desire it, they can turn to a life of crime for the resolution to satisfy their materialistic needs. This can be observed through the increasing crime rates for theft, break-ins, snatch thefts, frauds, blackmail, kidnapping for ransom, and bank account hacking. Those who commit these crimes are materialistic criminals that lost sight of moral and spiritual values as they are blinded by greed and wealth. Besides that, parents may neglect their children’s emotional and spiritual needs because they are fully engrossed in money-making activities.
Despite all the comforts and extravagance, the children can become lonely and crave for parental affection, and thus indulge in bad habits like smoking or vandalizing public property as an act to eradicate the loneliness or seek attention. In conclusion, materialism is becoming a common quality in the 21st century. People are compelled to work harder to afford indulgences beyond their reach. Even though materialism may spur individuals to strive in life to improve their way of living, the act of overspending can lead to the downfall of the one’s well-being and the economy.
For me, I believe that money is not everything in life. It is undeniable that without money, one cannot survive in this harsh world, but having money in abundance in meaningless when one is unhappy. As quoted from Virgil, “The greatest wealth is health. ” I think that there are more significant things in our lives that seem to be overshadowed by our busy daily lives and worldly delights, and they are family, friends, health, and true happiness.