We buy new clothes. We buy a new phone. We buy the newest and coolest item. We buy until we feel complete, but when that happiness wears off, we must buy more things, more clutter to fill up our love tank and feel whole. We live in a country of consumers, where most things are good enough until the next big things roll along. But really, how much happiness can come from buying more and accumulating stuff?
The average American spends $140 per day. Although the number isn’t quite the whole picture because of the diverse range of people in America, the statistic still stands, especially in an area like Forest Hills.
I hate to be the person saying the cliche line that goes a little like, “Think about the starving kids in Africa.” Although that phrase has lost some of its power, it still holds true no matter where you are or who you are. There is always someone less fortunate than you, someone who is barely scraping by as we consider yet another useless item to fill our empty void. In fact, half the world and possibly more live in poverty, which is less than $2.50 a day. That’s insane to even begin to comprehend. Just contemplate how different life in Forest Hills is like, with our abounding opportunities and chances to live out our lives.
There is a certain incompleteness that comes from spending more than necessary. Sometimes we feel like what we already have is not enough, leaving us to crave more of that limited happiness in hopes of fulfillment. The reason that it feels inadequate is because what we need isn’t material or something we can buy. It often feels like buying is the simple way out of digging deeper to reach the richer life that relies less on material wealth.
It’s not wrong to spend; that’s not what I want to say. Nevertheless, at some point, we must all take a good, hard look at our lives and see what our purpose is. We need to determine where our heedless spending fits into purpose and where our hearts lie in the midst of it all.
Happiness comes with experiences. It comes from living out our lives outside the boundaries of credit cards, brand names, and shopping sprees. Happiness is the feeling of pure joy when you meet someone new, and you feel an instant connection. The road to a richer life is not one of endless stuff and constant spending; it’s one of the relationships, encouraging and helping others, experiencing new things, and nurturing the things rooted deepest in your heart.