Commentary: Materialism distracts us from what is truly important

We are gifted on a daily basis with intangible virtues of humanity

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Commentary: Materialism distracts us from what is truly important

Lily Williams, staff writer

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Today, society has changed millions of minds to grow accustomed to social standards. Financial status trumps positive personality traits over half of the time. We have become so concerned with the possession of ‘things’, while putting our best moral attributes on the back burner.

  You put a price tag on a purse, a pair of jeans, a cell phone, a car, but how many of us truly understand the virtuous value of love? Friendship? Loyalty? The underlying issue is that many of us don’t. That is until one of those concepts of human nature is absent in our lives.

  In 1890, author Oscar Wilde wrote “The Picture of Dorian Grey”. In this story is a quote that is now infamous which states;  “Nowadays people know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” This quote has been analyzed and interpreted by several different writers, authors and readers in many different ways.

You put a price tag on a purse, a pair of jeans, a cell phone, a car, but how many of us truly understand the virtuous value of love?”

— Lily Williams

   I believe Wilde was referring to humanity’s impulse to prove ourselves through monetary value. Today, the meaning of this quote has not only become more true, but glorified.  The 1% of our population that has more than half of America’s wealth, is looked up to. Worshiped. Meanwhile many of those below or in the middle class have more than half of America’s integrity and dignity. Many of us know this, but try not to focus on it, in fear that societal standards will be broken.

  We lose love in our lives, we lose a friend in our lives and it is not until then that we realize what we had. We notice the significant feeling of emptiness but we are unable to point out what exactly is missing. We begin to slightly comprehend the value of sympathy, affection, kindness. We begin to realize what we’ve been missing.

  Everyday we give more importance to things with a price tag, rather than human connections that can’t be bought. We become so wrapped up in the fanciest new gadgets and neglect the significance of the concepts in life that deserve to be cherished. We forget what it takes to build and stabilize a healthy life. Those traits of peace, faith, appreciation and love are what it truly takes to ‘buy’ happiness.

Nowadays people know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”

— Oscar Wilde

  What is foremost influential in our lives are things that cannot be purchased. When we lose those imperative traits that build our character is when we begin to feel blessed for what we have. Once it becomes too late is when we wish we didn’t take it for granted.

  As a community of humans living on this earth I feel it is essential to practice better appreciation for what we have in the moment; the value of someone holding the door for you, a friend offering advice, the value of living in good health, having a full loving family. Those ideals that cannot be bought at the store but come to you through the beauty of human nature.

   Many of us need to begin to realize how gifted we are. Being able to live a comfortable financial life is a blessing, however, to make that a priority over principled behavior should be morally incorrect.

  The ideas humans share with each other within their connections are things that should not be taken advantage of; we need to appreciate love, friendship, health and peace today, not once they are gone.

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