14 Feb 2014

Reflections on W.E.B Du Bois' thoughts on materialism



W.E.B Du Bois believed that Americans (or people from Capitalist societies) were too obsessed with money and its ability to get material things. He saw more to life than economic and material success and wanted people (mainly the black community because they hadn't fallen into this trap yet) to realize this.

I feel this same way, however, the majority of my community (the Asian community) has already fallen ill with this disease and I want them (well, all people) to revert back to seeing life as a lesson about self-knowledge and growth, rather than zeroes in the bank account and possession of fancy things.

Now, I'm not saying that it is wrong or unethical to want material things. Because it's not. We've been socialized so much starting at a young age to want cool things via commercials on TV or ads in magazines that it's probably nearly impossible for us to change cold turkey. Heck, I catch myself staring at and wanting the new PlayStation 4 at the local Best Buy and new Jordans at Footlocker all the time.

So there is nothing wrong with desiring and/or buying material things from time to time. However, it becomes a problem when the material things consume you and that's all you work towards. You disregard all the beauties of growing as a human and becoming a better person for inanimate objects that may give you a little joy and a social status bump among your peers. This is not what life is supposed to be about.

So shut off your electronics, go for a walk and explore your subconscious for areas you feel need to be improved to make yourself nicer, kinder, less egotistical, more open-minded and more helpful to society.

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