Does More Stuff Really Make Us Happy?

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Does More Stuff Really Make Us Happy?

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Does owning more stuff really make us happy? That would seem to be the case to most Americans. We love to own as much cool and impressive stuff as we can. And then when something that does the same exact thing comes out, we immediately throw out our old stuff and buy the new model, like when new phone models come out. If you were to explain this to a person from a third world country, I’m not sure they would understand why we do this.

The thing is buying all this stuff never seems to satisfy us. All it does is complicate things and distract us from the more important things in life.

At one point, I was planning on buying a new pair of snowboard bindings. When they arrived, I was really excited and all I could think about was going out and using them. But as soon as I was able to use them, other than they way they looked, I didn’t notice one single difference from my old pair.

I think we can all admit that at some point while we have been in church, school, or somewhere else important, we have pulled out our cell phones and shut out the outside world. We may be entertained, but not necessarily happy, and we miss what’s happening around us. It blocks us off from engaging in our communities The more accessible technology and products get, the more distracted we become from our education, social obligations, and even our relationship with God.

It’s not easy imagining that getting rid of all your toys, gadgets, and unnecessary possessions would make you happier. But, people with less are often less envious of others, compared to those who buy exactly what they want. If you have ever volunteered at a homeless shelter or a similar volunteer organization, than you might have been blown away at how cheerful and grateful most of them are. While I was on a mission trip with my church in Philadelphia, my group set up a dinner for the homeless. And after all had been served, we got our food and sat down with them. Some weren’t really in the mood for talking, but most were happy to tell us their life stories. And after hearing these we could tell just how grateful they were for everything they receive. Not just because they don’t have much, but because they know what happiness is when they experience it.

Try not getting the new model of a product you have; keep the one that have that works. Give some of your video games or clothes to your younger siblings, not the old ratty ones you don’t even want, but the nice ones that will make your sibling look at you differently from then on. Have you ever heard some talk about getting out into nature or going on a backpack trip throughout the wilderness or Europe, and they say it was one of the best experiences of their life. Well do you think they had their cell phones and big bed to sleep in? Not a chance! It’s the same principle here: even though you don’t have a beautiful mountain range to gaze at, you find that little things can bring you the same joy. Use less and become a happier person.

 

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