also Malls

Need something? Food? Clothing? Equipment? Fine, go out and buy it. You work hard for your money. You trade it for what you cannot obtain using your own resources. A fine system this:  Purchasing products from individuals and companies. What a great way to avail yourself of skills and materials provided by other human beings. For thousands of years people have bought and sold. Trade has certainly played a vital role in the prosperity of many. And so it does to this day.

But … can buying be an impediment to spiritual growth? The simple answer is:  If shopping becomes excessive and you allow acquisition obsessions to dominate your life, you will be wrapping yourself up in a world of wants. Your mind and energy will be focused on the endless pursuit of things. Nothing will satisfy you for very long. Always a constant procession of “I’ve got it,” “What else do I ‘need?”, “What else do I want?”  This can become central to your life … ‘dogging’ your consciousness with “Gimme, gimme, gimme,” “I want, I want, I want.” 

One of the gravest threats to inner peace and spiritual growth in today’s consumer world is the universal acceptance of unbridled commercialism. Children are raised with the belief that ‘making’ money in order to be able to buy things is their primary goal in life. Whatever talents they have should be directed towards this end. When life is defined at an early age as the pursuit of the external, how difficult will it be to cultivate altruism? When so much is being offered, most often in an alluring, captivating way, how can you expect receptive, searching minds to focus on what truly matters? Their interior growth … their developing ‘character’.

Many are inexorably fixated on acquiring. They will do what is necessary to obtain funds. Legally … or perhaps ‘bend’ the law when possible. Be nice; don’t hurt anyone. Work hard if necessary or ‘be lucky’. Just accrue lots of money and buy, buy, buy. That’s what life is all about … what makes one happy.

If you have any doubt about where young peoples’ minds are today, just ask what their goals are. More often than not they will say: “ I want to make money.”  How sad:  Beginning life’s journey believing that getting as much as you can as quickly as you can is your reason for being. Shopping is vital. NOT!!

Material obsessions and excesses can certainly dominate your life. Acquiring can become your daily, major concern. How tragic. As a poet once said:  “Getting and spending … too soon we lay waste our powers.”  You risk personal growth when you constantly want. An inexhaustible, ‘self-serving’ you will most assuredly be ‘barren’ at the ‘end of the day’. For ‘things’ and their brief ‘enjoyment’ will obfuscate your means for loving. Caring is the only way you can fill your heart. And the habit of ‘rewarding’ self will most certainly alienate selflessness.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.