The illusion of material discontentment

This realization came to me when I was riding on a car with the family of my tutee. They brought me along to a birthday dinner of a relative in downtown Davao. I was in the backseat with the children. And so I could overhear some bits of the grownups’ seemingly ordinary conversation.

It went like this (non-verbatim):

“You know George? He got a [Ford]  Everest”

“So I heard. Everest looks damn fine. I think I may need to upgrade this car. (chuckle)”

The last line hinted a sense of need and a slight urgency to meet the said need. And that was when I felt it was kind of wrong.

If one doesn’t have a car, or any convenient-bordering-luxurious gadget, she likely won’t need to upgrade it. Because there’s basically nothing to upgrade.

Meanwhile, I hear many other people (both offline and online) wishing for new phones, new tablets, or new cars even if they still have those fully functional units at their disposal. This makes me question if there’s even a real need to quell these urges to get all the new and guaranteed improved versions of these things.

Are we a little too unappreciative of what we have?

We want convenience, yet when we are granted it, a new problem always arises. What was once useful and wished for is soon regarded as something less wanted. People look forward to what’s yet to come, as if what’s in their hands hardly matters.

P.S. This isn’t something I’d say would be an “in general” sort of behavior. This is just a tiny observation of me. Contrary opinions are welcome, of course.

2 thoughts on “The illusion of material discontentment

  1. Sometimes I wonder if it’s an issue of culture – consumerism.

    The way our present world is, people are encouraged to buy buy buy. Economics is driven by numbers, and those numbers say that the more people buy, the healthier the economy is. Those same economists are the ones that like to give tax breaks or control inflation. It gives rise to marketing paradigms and pressures to get people to keep buying, even if you might already have enough.

    Is it bad? I’m not sure – it’s an ambivalent thing to me. A strong economy is important, but to some extent I wonder if we control the economy or if the economy controls us?

    Are we unappreciative? Or have we been swayed and cultured by external forces into acting a certain way?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > but to some extent I wonder if we control the economy or if the economy controls us

      I think it’s a loop feedback kind of situation. Since we are need-driven beings, there will always be a pressure to be productive and contribute something to the society, e.g., what’s measured in an economy. So I guess both are true, since it works both ways.

      > Or have we been swayed and cultured by external forces into acting a certain way?

      Obviously there are external factors at play; perhaps I need more reading to get acquainted with them. But for now, I’m more interested at what’s in the core of people that make them behave in certain ways. (Maybe it’s more on a spiritual aspect of questioning on my part.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s