JOY - The Fruit Of The Spirit As An Antidote To Consumerism

Man staring into the night sky.

I recently heard the quote "Anybody who tells you that money can buy happiness is a liar. Anybody who tells you that money cannot buy happiness is a liar."

In other words - as humans we have needs; food, water, shelter etc. when we don't have these things we are worried and anxious, happiness can allude us. But once these material needs are met, more material things piled on top of this does not make us happier.

Driving to work the other day I passed a billboard with a picture of a car - the billboard said "this car will make you happier". This is essentially what advertising is about. We are not just buying a product, we are buying an experience. In most cases the perceived benefit is happiness - yet this is rarely the case in reality.

Joy is something that is found outside of material wealth. Joy is found in a precious friendship, joy is found in a beautiful sunset, joy is found in helping those around us.

Oftentimes our material goods distract us from cultivating joy in our lives. Watching CSI reruns gets in the way of meeting up with friends. The sunset glares on the tv so we close our curtains, and our manic timetables prohibit us from being able to help people.

Joy is what happens when we take in our surroundings at each moment, rather than constantly moving to the next thing, constantly consuming more and more.

Technology and things can be good when they serve us, when they are helpful. But when they stand in the way of the things that truly give us joy, this is when we need to move beyond them.

May we be those that find joy in the mystery of life, may we be those that cultivate relationships with those around us, and may we be those that seek to remove ourselves from the false promises of materialism and consumerism.

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