Meaning of Materialistic

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I read an interesting question online today.

How do you become less materialistic?

The first thing to do is to define the word ‘materialistic’.  I resorted to the dictionary and this is what I came up with.

Materialistic – excessively concerned with physical comforts or the acquisition of wealth and material possessions, rather than with spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.  

I think that sums it up quite nicely.

So, how is a materialistic attitude determined?  Nature, nurture, genetics, stage of life?

I am sure that at least some of our attitude towards possessions stems from how we were brought up and the attitude of our parents.

Additionally, most of us go through what I would regard as an acquisitive phase during early adulthood as we set up a household which is independent from our childhood home.  During this period there are often children added to the family and along with that comes additional possessions.

At the other end of the scale there are those of us who no longer have children at home and are perhaps already retired or soon to be so.  Many of us are looking to remove clutter from our lives.

However, I think a materialistic attitude is more than simply having lots of stuff.  To me it means that a person places more emphasis on material possessions than values.

I cannot get enough of this video which is brilliant.

Why Simplify?

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Everywhere I have turned in the past week there seem to be messages about simplifying your life.  Some of it has been on other blogs as well as robust discussions both online and in real life.  I am not sure whether it is the start of the new year, the planets aligning or just coincidence.

Flowers

As part of the process of acknowledging that simplicity is at least part of my core values I have changed the byline of this blog to “A simple, sustainable life”.

simplicity

This post from Sho-Me Simplicity is well worth reading.  It is quite long but take your time and try to really understand the points she makes.  It is not just possessions that clutter our lives.  It can be too many commitments as discussed here at Living Simplyfree or people whose very presence drains your energy and vitality.

Gone Fishing

Perhaps the final word should come from my mother, who would say “stop the world, I want to get off” when everything got too much.  I do not know the origin of this comment but I think it sums up how many people are feeling at the moment.