Materialism is a personal attitude which attaches importance to acquiring and consuming material goods.
Being called a materialist mostly isn’t a compliment. Materialism has a rather negative connotation to it, but why is this? Surely there are extremes within being materialistic, but does this essentially speak to materialism or is it rather negative because it is extreme – and what is considered being extreme? A lot of questions being asked here, on which I don’t have an answer, but today I want to talk about why being a materialist is actually a good thing to me.
Taking care of your goods
To be honest, I really feel love for my material goods. Call me crazy, but I can look at a glass and feel real joy and happiness. That is also why I take such good care of my stuff. Every item I own is considered valuable and is respected for what it is. Always trying to get the most out of an item and if it doesn’t fit my lifestyle anymore, I will recycle it in a way it does get the respect it deserves.
A lot of people I know, who consider being a materialist as something negative, create such material waste on this planet. For instance, they see a pillow case in Ikea they love, buy it and get tired of it after a couple of months and just put it down the bin because it wasn’t that expensive. When I ask them why they do this, they say to me “It’s just a pillow case, why make such a big deal out of it?” . To me, this is wrong. Very wrong. This is a core case of being a materialist in full denial. Buying a piece because you love it and throwing it away when you don’t love it as much anymore is called consumerism. You buy, and buy, and buy, never feeling truly satisfied and never appreciating what you have bought. The buying has become a habit which doesn’t focus on the object anymore. Not only does this classify under insanity to me, it creates such a waste on our planet.
Every item produced has a big impact on our environment and in case you didn’t know yet – we aren’t doing our planet much good anymore. So appreciating what you have and loving a material good with your heart leads to a more conscious lifestyle.
The art within material goods
We passed the fact that we solely use material goods for our survival centuries ago. Nowadays material goods are inherent to our existence and they aren’t only meant for our survival, but more for our entertainment and as a way to express our personality. This means that almost any item can be found in a million different versions, suiting different styles and cultures. This also means that any of these items is designed by someone expressing their vision in this particular good and that is what I love – I love seeing a crystal vase with a pattern in it and imagining the person who designed it, who put all the detail into it and made sure this item was actually made. From idea to tangible goods.
Actually, any item on this earth can be seen as a piece of art. A piece where you find connection with likeminded people. The best example in this case for me is a designer handbag. Wearing a Chanel handbag makes me feel connected to so many other people around the world who share the same admiration for this brand/design, it makes me feel connected to a great designer who had such an influence on the fashion world and it makes me feel connected to the people who made this bag, putting such craftsmanship and detail into the making.
Loving a luxury bag to me, means loving everything and everyone who is connected to this certain piece. Respecting all the labour that was put into it and respecting the people who made this idea possible.
Is it actually bad to love an item?
Pinterest quotes are saying you should “Love people and use things and not the other way around”, this is partly true. You shouldn’t use people, but I don’t see any harm in loving things as you love people. What’s the harm in loving things? I’m not saying you should go and buy every THING you see and love – that would be a waste – but I don’t see any harm in truly loving your stuff. Losing my dog would truly break my heart, but so would losing my Chanel bag. And okay, you cannot replace a dog and you can replace a Chanel bag, but that doesn’t mean you cannot feel bad about losing an item. It isn’t the end of the world, but it’s okay to feel sad about parting with a certain item. It means you loved it, showed respect to it and it made you happy.
I truly think that if people would think less negative about materialism and showed more respect to material goods, our planet would maybe get a bit better? Or maybe I’m just naive as always…
What do you guys think about materialism?