Daily Blog Post 315:
In the Morality play “Everyman”, Everyman is a character who discovers through his journey to visit Death, he cannot take Goods, Beauty, Kindred, Fellowship, Strength, Five-Wits, or Knowledge to his grave. In the end, he is only able to part with his Good-Deeds, that is, his legacy of goodness.
The play makes a distinct position on the view of all material things: all earthly goods are a vanity.
Although I can see the reasoning behind the condemnation of materialism as a life philosophy, I think it is important to also accept that life is not meant to be completely devoid of all physical and material things. Rather than completely delete such things from one’s world, learning to live in moderation with them is much more realistic.
In a perfect and efficient world economy, man’s only purpose would be to produce and innovate products and services, reproduce and carry on one’s genetics, and then certain humanity’s future.
To forsake all “goods”, or beauty, or riches, or all of the world’s vanities is inevitably idealistic; we all wish to be perfect forms of human. But is it realistic? Is it meant to be achieved?
Of course, those who live ascetic lives exist (monks, for example).
But Everyman. Can Everyman achieve this form of self-restraint?
I don’t know about you, but I accept goods into my life. I accept that materialism is a part of what makes me, and many other people around me, happier. Money is not the most important thing in life, but still, it is one asset that I know and fully accepts to make all other aspects of my life potentially better, easier, or more convenient. But I also understand that materialism and greed also lead to a path of vanity. Though, just because the path can be seen, does not mean I must walk it.
In the end, I am still a bit torn about this subject. As I delve deeper into my philosophy course about humanity, I hope to discover more about what it means to be human.
What is your relationship with materialism?
Do you accept it? Do you understand it? Are you conscientious about the life decisions that shape your relationship with goods?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.