As junior in high school, I am well aware of what if feels like to think that you absolutely can’t live without something, and like many others, I have fallen into the traps of materialism.

Materialism is a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things. Millions of Americans can argue that objects contain sentimental value or display hard earned wealth, thus justifying why people need more and more objects to fill their lives with.

Sentimental value can be stored in memories and experiences, rather than use these values as an excuse to hoard or to boast, Americans need to reevaluate their priorities so they can live as less cluttered beings.

People in society are always worried about the latest and greatest thing. Whether it be keeping up with the latest fashion, technology, etc. Materialism and individualism in American society are the biggest obstacles. Companies spend millions of dollars in research on learning how to create a lasting memory of their product and brand in the consumer’s head. Television is constantly showing perfect people with perfect things such as Keeping up with the Kardashians, E! News and even Disney Channel for children. Businesses want to appeal to as many people as possible, including small children watching candy and toy commercials between SpongeBob episodes. The consumer is supposed to become devoted to a brand or product for his/her entire life-from toddler years to old age.

The plague of this materialistic society is a direct result of mankind seeking satisfaction and happiness through the addiction to obtaining objects of our outward desires. There is nothing wrong with a hard day’s work in order to secure livelihood or to experience the things in life everyone enjoys, however, money and entertainment has corrupted this culture. The population spends the few hours of rest each day glued to televisions that introduce them to the next solution to discontentment, to hopelessness, to a need or validation, to patch ruined egos, and to fill the void many have in their lonely hearts. Personal satisfaction and greed are the most important aspects of life of the society driven by materialism. Each individual has to make some changes in his/her outlook.

People have to give top priority to hard work and not to any shortcut route to achieve success. There is a sense of truth and honesty associated with hard work which can provide immense satisfaction. People have to increase their knowledge of realities that are non-physical. Lack of knowledge of the non-physical aspects of life is a major cause of the downfall not only as individuals but collectively as a society. Being self-aware and present helps people to know their real identity. If wealth is lost, it can be replaced but if we lose our own self then we cannot replace that. Students need to learn how to spread awareness, starting in this community – Dripping Springs – and how to avoid being dropped into the void of unhappiness that comes with material obsession.

Written by Clara Comparan