Opinion

Why Materialism Can’t Buy You Happiness

Representative Photo

We live in a time where almost every sphere of our life has been transformed by unfolding impacts of unprecedented technological innovation. There are even people who believe that all human wants and necessities might be realized after a few more years of technological advancement. Despite so much economic and scientific progress, none of us claim to have attained a state of “Eudemonia” or “Fulfilment” because we have not understood life and its purpose as famous Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it, ”Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life for he who has understood existence”.

The raging chaos and uncertainty around the world is a consequence of hope that we have placed on the material things of this world.

Some people are so optimistic about the world that they even believe heaven might be realized on the Earth. Unlike what most of the religions teach, they either consider this world perfect or believe that perfection can be attained through material progress.

They believe human fulfillment is a real possibility by overlooking the fact that humans are by nature selfish, pleasure-seeking, avaricious and egoistic. No matter how hard one tries and how much one progresses he can’t completely get rid of these evils. Therefore, the truth is that it is impossible for anyone to be absolutely and in every conceivable way completely content and peaceful, not even for half an hour of his life because we are so vain that a slightest thing like anyone disagreeing with us is enough to upset us.

Like everyone, I am also very disappointed about myself, not because I have done or achieved nothing in my life but what I achieved didn’t bring the kind of peace and stability in my life I had expected. It taught me one major thing that hope is an opium of emotions.

Relying on hope will never make you contented. It is utterly contrary to what society tells you: don’t worry, it is OK, everything will be fine! People also tell you to be hopeful and optimistic to get away with the circumstances and thus by not telling you to face the situation, they make you fragile and coward.

We have turned a blind eye to what is happening around us these days, because we hope and expect everything will be fine, we assume it’s transitory and will pass, and we think peace and success lies in telling the stories of hope. To be calm and successful, one should not try to escape from the situation by considering “everything will be fine” rather one should be ready to face it. One should tell oneself something very dark: life is terrible; I might have to go to prison; I might be killed; I might not succeed; I will die one day, all is not well and I will be betrayed, to remain in the race of life. With this kind of attitude we will grow more resilient and strong to stand up against the difficulties of life.

One should know that earthly happiness is an illusion and there is no way to fulfillment, not at least in material things, but one must be ready to face the worst so as to transact with the vicissitudes of life peacefully, as Blaise Pascal has put it rightly, “Man’s greatness comes from knowing he is wretched”.

To Top