Siyanda Mohutsiwa
Siyanda Mohutsiwa

Why we choose materialism – part 1

Some of us choose materialism. The decision to put all our hopes and dreams into a basket weaved out of the material of economic consumerism is one we make almost every day.

We do so because it is more simple to write down a list of objects we want to own than it is to write down a list of things we need — because we know that we would arrive at the simple truth that a list of things we think we need would be a list darkened by the question marks of an unfed soul.

The 20th century has left our souls malnourished and we are ashamed to raise a mirror to our eyes and see the emptiness within ourselves. Globalisation and the growing tendency to hide a retarded rate of cultural innovation behind technological leaps has left us in a spiritual frenzy; unable to see that the speedy development of all factors of society for commercial processes has left our societies hollow and stunted.

We fear reality and chase dreams. And we think material objects are the only things tangible enough to allow us to convince ourselves that our time on this planet hasn’t been a waste — that these dreams have been achieved, our mansions, cars and gadgets are receipts.

We protect our hearts from the pain of knowing that there could only be one answer to the question of our existence and that answer is a cold shrug of indifference from the universe, by buying self-help books to make our chasing money feel “meaningful”.

And I can’t say there’s much that is wrong with this. We are simply afraid. And this fear is so strong and unifying that it has driven capitalism to its position of global economic domination. This unspeakable fear — this unknowable fear, is what drives us out of bed and into our cars where we drive to our jobs dreaming of the better car we could have and the better job we want.

Consumerism is a wonderful distraction. And I welcome it with open arms.

To be continued …

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