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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Specter of Materialism

It is not only the rich that can worship possession of material things.  In some ways it is a greater threat to the poor who see riches from afar and think that the solution of all their problems is money and the things it can buy.  A hot set of wheels for many in poverty is the epitome of foundational happiness.  It represents the shortcut to self-esteem; never mind that one is a school dropout.  Education, after all, is not an end in itself, but only the means to get rich.  The product of education thus is not priceless intangibles embodied in qualities of thought and judgment; it is rather simply one means to a materialistic end.  If that end becomes blocked, then lawlessness will do just as well.  Of course this mentality can have its mirror image in the successful college graduate who likewise only viewed higher education as a highway to wealth.  Both share the same one-dimensional view and both can have a very damaging impact upon the health and welfare of a society.  When ultimate hope is founded in the possession of material riches, the land bereft of higher purposes becomes impoverished and lost in a wilderness of nihilism.  The saving miracles that are products of belief and character then must await a fresh enlightenment.

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