The problem of wanting too much

Why buying stuff and getting money is not the solution

I have heard about this holiday known as thanksgiving that happens in the United States every year. I don’t really know the traditions and the reasons for the holiday, but what I do know is about black friday. A shopping event that has crossed all limits of crazy. Have a look at the video below.

Thousands of people fighting over stuff. It basically reminds me the fact that when our ancestors had fights over food. I used to think that thank god this level of crazy does not exist here in India. That’s where I was wrong apparently because I don’t shop that much. Now whenever there is an Iphone launch I can say that there aren’t people going out there and pitching their tents outside a store but then there are the crazies who would pay twice the amount of what Iphone costs just to lay their hands on one before anyone else does. That two weeks of usage where you won’t even meet that many people costs about more than a month of your salary. You know what else you can buy with that extra money? A small vacation to Nainital, Mussourie or Shimla for the entire family.

But maybe it was just about the phones, wrong again.

The image you see here belongs to the day when H&M launched a store in India. Hundreds and thousands of people lining up to buy overpriced clothes being sold as reasonable all so that they can get a free piece of clothing as an inaugural offer. I’m no one to preach what is wrong or right. I have bought stuff on pure impulse. Stuff I don’t need, stuff that has been gathering dirt for a while.

Let me tell you about a friend. He’s a nice guy, a bit of a douche at times, but a real good friend. He’s got it all and a life well set. Just to tell you, he bought the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge because he thought it was the best only to buy the S7 edge a month later when it came out and then to get an Iphone 7 plus later that year. This begs me to ask how many phones do you really need.

But this isn’t just about phones, it is about us. Most of us are in a cycle of belief that the more money we have, the more stuff we will be able to buy and the more happy we will be. The director in the firm where I am working called me to have a talk and told me on the lines, that you just like everyone else have dreams of getting a better pay cheque so you can buy nicer things for yourselves, that’s what everyone wants. I was surprised for once that that is the way everyone thinks.This is supplemented by social media where the celebrities we cherish and our own friends on facebook constantly bombard us with photographs of how well their life is, how they bought a new car or new house or they are out there enjoying the high life.

Now we’re trapped in this cycle where one thing is for sure that it will never end. You will work hard, throughout the day, sometimes late at night. Work which may train you for an industrialised world but work which may never add real meaning to your own life. Add further to it, you will now end up buying a lot of stuff just to justify your extended working hours, maybe even away from home and family.

A study by Harvard done over 80 years and tracking hundreds of different individuals come with a single line answer after their extensive research.

Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed. Those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes.

If that is the true solution then all of us need to take a good long and hard look at the way we are living out our lives and how and start moving towards how we want to live it.