Craze for piling up our possessions makes our life materialistic with the passing of time. Love for movable, immovable property, precious metals and stones such as gold, silver and diamond, bundles of currency notes and various objects of luxury – is not a crime; but how we acquire them is the moot point, in my opinion. All these are undeniably needed in life. Becoming materialistic by foul means is a crime – not our willing to become one by fair means.
Many people go on accumulating materials but do not use them wisely. What would be the use of a Mont blanc pen or a Parker pen in the pocket of an illiterate person who cannot read or write? People possess materials sometimes merely as status symbols for vainglory. Possessions collected by foul means may not be of everlasting use. Such materials are likely to disappear from shelves because crime never pays. Piling up materials which we do not need is also a folly. Possessing things which are indispensable would certainly make sense. We eat to live. We do not live to eat. This applies even to our collection of materials, doesn’t it?
Hard-earned wealth is lost when people deposit huge amounts at fraudulent saving fund units. They are tempted by the attractive rates of interest but regret later when the tricksters pull down their shutters. Hence, protection of possessions also requires wisdom. It is a pity, even highly educated people get trapped by such nefarious elements in society.
Long ago people used to spend a lot on betel-nut and tobacco. Wasting money on alcoholic drinks goes on even now. Gambling is another evil. Wealth possessed vanishes by all these harmful habits. Curtailing expenses is the best way to augment income, according to a couplet by the Tamil sage Thiruvalluvar.
Making a note of our expenses in a diary and checking all the bills of purchases would help us realise how we wasted our wealth on luxuries. I have admired some of my friends maintaining a record of all their expenses. An ostentatious life can never be lovable. Some people offer their possessions to fake god-men. They ignore the needy schools and hospitals which need financial assistance. Wads of currency notes are dropped by some into the coffers of temples to recompense their sins. There are other hypocrites who donate generously only for publicity. Most of us keep our shelves and lofts overflowing with unwanted junk-materials wasting useful space. This makes pests comfortably hide among the junk. Material management is also an art which all of us should learn. Instead of buying things which would gather dust, it is better to spend for medical checkup regularly. Buying suitable footwear for walking and jogging exercise is a useful expenditure. Collection of invaluable books would also be a pleasure to treasure.
Truly big people spend money for constructive purposes, public services and for noble causes. Some people live with “a dog in the manger” policy. They neither enjoy what they possess nor allow others to enjoy. In brief, a materialistic life devoid of wisdom is certainly a meaningless life.