Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saying 'No' to materialism

by Dr James Dobson

I remember a bank advertisement that encouraged people to borrow, asking the question: “What do you need to make you happy?” How foolish, I thought, to believe that a new car, a boat or even a house can bring lasting bliss.

Materialism and the Mind-Body Problem, 2nd Ed.Materialism is a disease that infects the human family — and it’s not a problem only in affluent cultures. Author and financial counsellor Ron Blue tells of visiting a small, rural village in Africa. Ron asked a villager what was the biggest problem facing his community. The man said: “Materialism.”

Ron was taken aback. He expected it to be the lack of food or medical help, or perhaps problems with neighbouring villages. But materialism? These villagers didn’t have televisions or cars or cable TV — the sorts of things we associate with “the good life”.

But this villager told Ron: “If a man has a mud hut, he wants one made out of cow manure. If he has a cow manure hut, he wants a stone hut. If he has a thatched roof, he wants a tin roof. If he has one acre, he wants two. Materialism is a disease of the heart, it has nothing to do with where you live.”

The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material WorldThat’s probably the simplest and best explanation of materialism I’ve heard. And it might hit pretty close to where you live. Take a good hard look at the loved ones in your life — and then tell me where your real priorities are.


From TODAY, Voices - Wednesday, 26-May-2010
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