A MATERIALISTIC WORLD
By Tahir Hamid
The world today has become a caucus for materialism. Our lives today are governed by our material desires, our needs and our wants. It is through material wealth that we fulfill our needs and desires.
With the television and radio busy advertising different products and services and selling dreams, men and women have become involved in a rat race. For climbing up in society, in order to obtain status, honor, importance and fame men and women often become unhappy when they are not able to achieve this. They are not happy with what they have. No, they want more. It is this not being happy with what you have in life that often makes men and women feel anxious, tense and depressed.
So many people are simply pursuing education and careers for being able to enjoy a good life. But what is this good life all about? It is about having more than that you need. It is not only about survival but about being able to have that much money that you can spend it for purchasing luxury vehicles, for owning designer dresses, for throwing lavish parties, for traveling to distant nations and resorts, to start new businesses, to invest in securities and bonds, to send your children to schools, colleges and universities and much more.
In the process of leading our cherished material lives, men and women often exhibit traits of jealousy, greed, spite, hate, envy, arrogance and much more. The love for wealth often turns brother against brother, sister against sister; it destroys relations between siblings, amongst relatives and amongst friends. So many men and women often breach the norms of the society to earn money especially when you consider conmen, swindlers and criminals. It is this greed to amass wealth that coaxes people within government and business to abuse their power and priveleges. So many poor nations today suffer because of morally corrupt men or women who constitute the leadership for fledgling democracies.
Men and women are busy fighting for earning those degrees, diplomas and certifications that will ensure that their lives are perhaps more secure with good paying jobs. However global recessions have often triggered and orchestrated bank collapses, business closures, massive layoffs, high unemployment, negative savings, etc. There are numerous developments in our lives which are unpredictable. Getting ill, the loss of people you love, the loss of a job, your house being burgled, etc are just some of the many things that you may not be able to predict in advance. Therefore nothing is certain and for sure in our lives. No one knows how and when they may pass away.
Our happiness today seems to be in being able to fulfill all our desires, in acquiring all those things that would provide us with a degree of importance, status and recognition. People today are categorized as winners and losers. Those who have been able to study well, those who have managed to secure high paying jobs in renowned and established organisations are looked upon as Gods. The have-nots and has-beens are summarily forgotten and dismissed from sight and memory.
Empathy and help for the have-nots, the down trodden, the sick, the helpless, and the uneducated is often not forthcoming when it is needed. That is especially true within poor and backward countries in the world where corruption within the government and bad governance ensures that the plight of those who deserve attention and help amongst the masses is not served.
Today Pakistan is a nation of 190 million people. The elite form four percent of the nation. They own most of the wealth in the nation. However they don’t pay their taxes. As a consequence of their corruption, more than sixty percent of the nation lives on less than 2 dollars a day.
Thanks to this race to accumulate wealth, we lose sight of God and His Commandments. We live our lives largely in gross ignorance of what has been forbidden by Him. Our lives are often unfortunately dedicated to satisfying all those desires and urges that have led to destruction of individuals, races and nations by God.
We hardly thank God or Allah for all His Blessings. The gift of life is a blessing. Our health within itself is a great blessing. The ability to touch, to feel, to hear, to smell, to think, to move, to run, to taste, to stand, to touch, etc are all His Blessings and yet we hardly stop to thank Him.
Not till we are deprived of our health or till ill-fate or misfortune visits our doorstep do we stop and remember God.
The reason why most crime persists in the world today is to make easy money, it does not seem to matter how it comes. Child traffickers, human traffickers, mafias, gangsters, hoodlums, kidnappers, thieves, burglars, mercenaries and assassins are all in the business to make easy money. There is no remorse.
There was a time when people valued honesty, discipline and standing up for what is right. It was also a time when people were reared up with values stressing upon morality and a proper code of conduct. Men and women were usually reared up in an environment where there was a great emphasis on religious learning. There was also an increased stress upon helping the poor, of visiting your neighbors, of contributing to charity, of doing good because it pleased God.
However in the present world, the sole mantra today seems to be ‘Money’ and more of it.