Shock therapy for materialism?

March 1, 2012

On Sunday we will be delivering Purim packages to people that don’t have as much as we do. For the last few months we have done this once a month in the city. This time, however, we will be doing this in Northbrook in honor of Purim, a Jewish holiday.

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that there are people, essentially neighbors of mine, that struggle to feed their families. I’m all encompassed by a world that has so much that I forget to look outside of it and see how many people struggle. And although I have blogged about this duality before, I never seem to come to grasps with this circumstance.

I get so caught up in a world of fancy vacations, Lululemon workout wear, designer handbags, etc. that as much as I make goals to not let it effect me, it does. I try to convince myself that it is about the character of a person that should define them, yet I notice myself noting all the wrong things.

Maybe there’s something about a beautiful day where the sun is shining and the weather is bearable to make you really stop and smell the roses. When I think of my life independently from others, I’m overwhelmed by how lucky I am. I still can’t get over that I have the opportunity to spend everyday with my children, that I live in a beautiful home, and all my needs are met.

Yet when I go out into the world of the Northshore I find myself wishing and wanting for more. If I compare what I have with others, there will always be others that have more. My world, however, rarely stretches out to those families we will be delivering packages of food to. I lose sight that there are so many more that have so much less.

How does anyone undo the materialistic traits in their personality? How do I get to the place that I look at products as nothing more than the service they provide? For instance, if I have a handbag to put all my things in, that should be enough. If I have a coat to keep me warm, that’s all that is needed from a coat.

I thought that staying home with my children would be luxury enough that I would become blinded by the never-ending amount of upgraded things a person can have. And when I look back on my life and think about my regrets, its so clearly going to be my feelings for materialistic things. I work so hard to have willpower and be a strong, good person, yet I can’t overcome this quality in my personality that I dislike so much.

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