“People go on postponing everything that is meaningful. Tomorrow they will laugh; today, money has to be gathered… more money, more power, more things, more gadgets. Tomorrow they will love – today there is no time.
But tomorrow never comes, and one day they find themselves burdened with all kinds of gadgets, burdened with money. They have come to the top of the ladder – and there is nowhere to go except to jump in a lake.” – Osho
I’m often the first one to lecture others regarding materialism and society’s insatiable appetite for more money. Yet I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t fully practiced what I’ve preached.
It was a reality recently brought to my attention by my wife, after she grew tired and frustrated of me judging my successes based on monetary values rather than moral values. And believe me, she had every right.
In the current society we live in, it’s not difficult to get caught up in the traps of materialism. They’re everywhere, and if you’re not cautiously navigating it’s easy to fall prey.
What’s unfortunate is how this drive for power and money and fame speaks to the insecurities we all harbor – and sadly I’m one of them. We believe that the acquisition of material possessions, wealth, power, celebrity status, and the list goes on and on, will somehow dismiss those insecurities.
But they won’t. Over time we just require more and more and more until we’re not even sure who or what we represent in this life – defined more by what we have than what we are.
Dennis Lenhane once wrote, “Happiness doesn’t lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home.
And home is not a house – home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.”
There’s no denying that we all need money in order to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and other necessary items for survival. But more money and more things will never bring us more happiness.
Happiness comes from the relationships we regularly foster, our selfless acts of kindness, our commitment to doing what’s fair and right, our compassion and the time we allot to those who can provide little in return.
If that doesn’t make you a success in this life, I don’t know what does.