Want it All?

I read an interview with Miley Cyrus in Glamour magazine the other day. She’s surprisingly grounded for a teen who’s already been in the limelight for several years. She respects and appreciates her parents’ authority, and tries not to get into all the materialism that Hollywood promotes.


Why have Americans created this illusion of the American Dream that consists of a two kids, a big house, two new cars, and various other toys and activities? What’s wrong with leaving within your means and being content with less?

I love it that people like Rick Warren, Tiger Woods, and Miley give back. It is so much more rewarding to use your success to help provide for the needs of others, than to build up your “crib.”

Would we even be in the recession this deep if people weren’t trying to reach for more than they could afford, and if banks weren’t willing to do whatever it takes to get the business?

Simple is good. Simple means less things to take care of and maintain. Simple is taking time to enjoy free things like state parks and bike trails. Simple is paying off your car and enjoying it for awhile. Simple is a vase of fresh flowers instead of an interior decorating job. Simple is a good book that the new movie release is based on.

It’s easy to speak against materialism when you don’t have a lot of money. A good test is to ask yourself what you would do if you won the lottery or gained an inheritance of a million dollars. After you paid off your debts, where would the money go? Would it benefit yourself alone, or would it go toward the good of others?

As E.F. Schumacher says, “An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth… in short, materialism… does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”

In other words, the chief problem of materialism is that it is never satisfied, and our world has limitations. To be content is the first step toward finding happiness.


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