Are material possessions a burden or a joy? How much is enough and how much is too much? Some wisdom quotes about material possessions:
The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.
As things are now going the peace we make, what peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace in brief without moral purpose or human interest.
We must learn that competence is better than extravagance, that worth is better than wealth, that the golden calf we have worshiped has no more brains than that one of old which the Hebrews worshiped. So beware of money and of money’s worth as the supreme passion of the mind. Beware of the craving for enormous acquisition.
The model of ownership, in a society organized round mass consumption, is addiction.
A child’s appetite for new toys appeal to the desire for ownership and appropriation: the appeal of toys comes to lie not in their use but in their status as possessions.
No abundance of material goods can compensate for the death of individuality and personal creativity.
The more we simplify our material needs the more we are free to think of other things.
You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.
Many wealthy people are little more than the janitors of their possessions.
L’Oreal’s slogan ‘because you’re worth it’ has come to epitomise banal narcissism of early 21st century capitalism; easy indulgence and effortless self-love all available at a flick of the credit card.
Ask me not what I have, but what I am.
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.
Most of what we take as being important is not material, whether it’s music or feelings or love. They’re things we can’t really see or touch. They’re not material, but they’re vitally important to us.
The most pitiful among men is he who turns his dreams into silver and gold.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people.
We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
There are only two families in the world, my old grandmother used to say, the Haves and the Have-nots.
Our philosophy is to rob everything as much as possible and forget about tomorrow…But it makes a certain sense if the sole human value is making as much wealth as you can tomorrow. You don’t care what happens down the road and you don’t care what happens to anybody else. It makes perfect sense. If it destroys the world, well, it’s not my problem.
The world has to learn that the actual pleasure derived from material things is of rather low quality on the whole and less even in quantity than it looks to those who have not tried it.
By attaching our identity to things only a few can have, we ignore the intrinsic preciousness of all human life.
I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.
Worldly riches are like nuts; many a tooth is broke in cracking them, but never is the stomach filled with eating them.
If the level and amount of consumption and waste of the western ‘rich’ countries ever reaches the poor countries, it will mean the end of humanity. The big world corporations are busy doing it…. The production, selling, consumption, accumulation, waste and advertisement explosions in the western ‘rich’ countries and the continued population explosion in the poor countries will turn into major catastrophes.
Perhaps it is this specter that most haunts working men and women: the planned obsolescence of people that is of a piece with the planned obsolescence of the things they make. Or sell.
Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.