The High Price of Materialism

The funny thing is, there was a time when there would have been nothing at all controversial about this video. I remember, I was there. Yet now, somehow, today it seems like it is controversial:

There is not a word of that I disagree with. I also think it’s describing the issues we will wrestle harder and harder with in the emerging 21st century economy, as everything our way of life is dependent on is changing so rapidly no one can keep up. The better we have the lower two tiers of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs covered, the faster we seem to forget or are frustrated in our desire to climb to the higher layers.

But I do know one thing: the least happy people I know are often the most driven to “succeed” and define “success” as acquisition of power and status and money (which, really, are all part of the same thing, and are in my view much like a narcotic: pleasant, positive, potentially useful, and seductively poisonous). Living a life where you consider “competition” the ultimate in nobility is extremely likely to end in misery, like the Silverback Gorilla Male who takes over his harem and then just waits until he’s old or injured so he can be killed and have his place taken. It’s not a happy life.

And I hope it’s not the type of life we’re evolving toward as a species.

(Thanks Paul.)