Keeping up with the Joneses: Digging Ourselves a Hole vs. Staying Whole

Today, self-importance is placed on material goods and possessions. From our expensive fashion choices to what shiny wheels are parked in the driveway, the material items we have define us. We try to become the models in advertisements, young and thin, all which are attained by pushing aside our ethics.

Today’s society leaves us with more challenges to our moral code than we’ve seen before. Our external environment and society’s chaos has poisoned our remembrance of what is good, moral, and ethical. Here’s how:

  • We have become too tolerant and accepting of society’s negative infiltration. Entertainment is no longer just that. We have given it more power, and have allowed our souls and inner selves to become molded by consumer culture.
  • We no longer see reality television and celebrity as leisure. Instead we have become convinced that money and fame lead to happiness. We have pushed aside the belief that being a good person and living in a morally and ethically sound way leads to true happiness and peace. These days, it is more common to search for happiness in the latest high-heeled shoe or within the chemical ingredients of the newest anti-aging cream.
  • The economic crisis is a good example of this hubris. Homebuyers wanted the biggest house for which they could receive a loan. There was a distinct belief that bigger was better and that this lifestyle would lead to happiness. Banks, creditors, and homebuyers all stepped away from their own ethics to achieve happiness though greed.
  • Our innate behaviors change because of this external environment. We shun those with who are different, do things to fit in, and bully those who we deem less. We put things before people. There is an attempt to find a sense of self in material possessions. We forget that it is our inner sense that makes us who we are.

Try to remember this before you compare yourself to another or criticize based on material possession. We cannot lower our standards to societal pressures. Joy can only be found within ourselves and with those we love.