Cars, shoes, clothes, jewelry—everywhere we look society is cramming the idea that we need tons of stuff in every corner of our lives! Shows like “My Super Sweet 16” (MTV) promote these ultra-materialistic ideas and somehow it becomes impossible to escape. Our culture is obsessed with obtaining as much stuff as possible, and it’s easy to forget that having everything you desire is not normal. The majority of the world and even a high number of people in North America live without the riches presented in the media. So as an intelligent young woman here in America, it’s time to acquire a more realistic perspective on a more pragmatic life.
It’s easy to forget that having everything you desire is not normal.
Consider the ways you treat people around you.
Are you ever judgmental of people who seem poor? Try to understand you don’t have a knowledge of their past circumstances which may have led to financial troubles. Instead of judging or looking down on people with less money than you, try just being friendly. If you want to reach out on a bigger scale, consider volunteering for an organization or program that helps people in need. Find an area in which you are passionate and spend time serving those who are less fortunate.
Many Americans struggle to make a living.
- In 2004, 37 million people (out of approximately 250 million) in the United States were below the poverty line.
- Approximately 45.8 million people didn’t have health insurance in 2004.
- Currently, 33 million Americans live with an inadequate supply of food, which means at some point during the year they went hungry.
Do you have a luxury you could give up?
Maybe it’s that coffee fix you need three times a week, or that bi-monthly trip to the movies. Think about taking the money you would normally spend on that little treat and donate it to a worthy organization. Find an organization that interests you at charitynavigators.com or www.charitywatch.com. Or check out some of our favorite non-profit organizations on our Facebook page.
Much of the world suffers from poverty that is unseen in the United States.
- Almost half of the people in the world (about 3 billion people) live on less than $2 a day.
- The total income of the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people equals the overall total income of just a few hundred millionaires.
- Almost 11 million children die per year due to hunger.
Although, changing these statistics is a huge undertaking, you can help by focusing on some of the little things in your life.
Changing materialistic ways starts with your mindset.
The next time you complain to your mom about not getting those new Sketchers, remember how lucky you are to live in a country which is blessed with more money than some countries will ever see. Try to replace the false notion that you need to have everything you want, with thankfulness for your own life situation.