This I Believe

Lesle - Paola, Kansas
Entered on May 21, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe that Materialism is my enemy. She is the enemy of humility, compassion, and concern for my fellow human beings. She is the enemy of grace, generosity, prudence, and stewardship.

Materialism lives with Greed. Together they have really bratty children, each more spoiled rotten than the other.

Mother Materialism wants everything she sees her neighbors buying. She badgers Greed for a bigger house, a bigger diamond ring, and a status-symbol car. She bickers with her kids, Selfish and Sullen, whose coveting is greater than she could ever have imagined, fueled by the energy of masterful mass marketers, while Daddy Greed’s needs grow bigger than his waistline with each mutual fund dividend.

Even though I know that buying and selling keeps our economy moving, I wonder, do I need to buy so much? Is buying stuff to cycle to our overfull landfill the best American way? I am free to be enterprising, but what is it that I really need: Something else for my bulging pantry and closets or food and shoes for those in truly dire circumstances?

I drive about an hour one way each day to my job, which gives me plenty of time to listen to books on CDs or my own mental wanderings. I’ve decided that it’s much wiser to put God at the center of my being, than to put myself as the center of my universe, which seems to be a reoccurring theme of self-help books, including a recent best-seller.

Have you read it, or listened to it? The basic premise of this book is that we all have the “power” to “attract” good things to ourselves, just by thinking our own selfish thoughts.

After awhile, I began to understand the author’s premise: We do it all ourselves – for ourselves. We change our world and attract all the things we want, including wealth, smart children, sex, good marriages, and successful careers, to ourselves simply by the way we think. Amazing!

I positively, whole-heartedly disagree and reject these singularly self-centered ways of thinking, but I understand why this nonsense is popular. It was written for Materialism and Greed: My enemies who will buy anything.