The trap of materialism

Timothy - Snohomish, Washington
Entered on May 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Everything tangible in life is meaningless. The human race works hard to achieve greatness, power, money, and recognition. If the divine power I believe in exists, then he must be marveling at the foolishness of his creations. If a creator doesn’t exist, we are probably entertaining an advanced race of aliens with our stupidity. How have we become such a material world?

My mother unknowingly got sucked into the trap of materialism. She decided to go to school, to get a college degree so she could make more money. She wanted to help her family: she wanted to have a more comfortable lifestyle. She was beguiled by good intentions. My mother did make more money and accomplished her goal of getting a degree. Money however, flows in out like the ocean tide; it is material and cannot be taken with you after your time her on earth has ended. In exchange for good intentions, money, and a college degree she received no home life, marital problems, and a son who knew abandonment. She was ensnared by the world, told to care about money, power, and prestige. How much of that can she take with her after her final breath? The relationships that define her now and forever are now eternally corrupted. Was the destitution of a family worth a few extra hundred a month?

I wish that I could say that my father was better. He didn’t invest in money, power, or prestige. However, his material masters were in possessions, prescription drugs, and addictions. All that money he spent on his record collection and he will never see it again since he passed away in March of 2008. Those drugs he took in life won’t give him a high in death, and do you think his addictions will soothe his restless soul? What he will have to deal with in the after life is the hurt souls of the people who that surrounded him.

Now it’s time for some self reflection. I do not wish to be put on a pedestal. I am just as guilty as the rest of the family. I would love to excuse it by saying that I’m young, but you need to live a life free of hypocrisy. I understand how difficult it is to break off from the way of the world and I’m aware of the problem and I still struggle everyday and often fail. If you take up this fight then you will not be understood by the people around you. We need to rally and create change, which can be accomplished by only living in the world and not of it.

This is a great and difficult task, but it comes without recognition and it will only be met with confusion and scorn. Do not undertake this challenge to be better than your fellow man. This is a call to be above pettiness. Do not brag about your selflessness, be humble, and let your actions be heard over the boisterous yells of the masses. When you remove yourself from the influence of the world, then I believe you can make a difference.