Materialism is one of the things that will eventually destroy the world. People think that more stuff equals more happiness, and as this continues, people will get further and further into debt trying to find what they've been told is "happiness." No one ever seems to stop and examine the big picture: are they happier with all this excess stuff?
Not that I'm pointing fingers an individual people. It's in the marketing. Materialism starts with the companies who make you feel like you have to have more stuff. Nicer cars, trendy clothes, a quesadilla maker or a 52-inch television... are these things really necessary for a happy life? Nah.
Imagine for a moment living a less materialistic life. Buying store brands, and only of things you actually need. Acomplishing tasks through your own creativity and effort, rather than having some gadget do most of the work for you. Borrowing books from the library instead of buying them. Entertaining yourself without television, mp3 players, mobile phones, or the internet. To me, it sounds like a more satisfying way to live. We've all become addicted to instant gratification, but it's a temporary thing.
I will freely admit that I am guilty of materialism. I am writing this blog post from my android phone, and I have a store-bought paperback novel in my purse. I keep thinking about it, though, and I find myself taking small steps toward being less materialistic. I like to think of the process as trying to achieve a zen-like state with my posessions. Next step: going through my closet.