How can material things be tied to your happiness?

I was recently talking to this guy who didn’t have a car. According to him he was unhappy and a loser because he couldn’t afford one. He couldn’t drive to meet people because of the car, he couldn’t have a girlfriend because of the car and so on. I’ve never had a car and I’m perfectly fine.


Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

From the example you have quoted, you’re right in the way you think. It’s futile to ‘depend’ your happiness on material things.

But I ‘tie’ or associate many material things in my possession to my happiness. Oh yes I do. For instance, I still have a half-heart pendant that my bestie from college and I bought together…

We’d sworn to keep it forever and remain besties forever. Today we exchange birthday and new year wishes to each other on WhatsApp. People change. Times change. But it’s the small things like this that keep so many memories from fading away. Each time I look at my half pendant, I feel a surge of wonderful memories come flooding back…memories of crazy times and endless laughter.

Then I have all those birthday cards and little trinkets given to me by people over the years. I attach a little bit of happiness to each one of those. The smile on my face when I received it is forever etched on it. If I were to lose any of those, I know I’d certainly be very sad.

My books give me a lot of happiness. Each book on my bookshelf has a story behind it. A conversation with a friend which led to it being recommended. A gift from somebody special. Or some silly reason which made sense only to me that I had to buy the book.

So it’s totally alright by me to tie your happiness to material things in your possession…material things that have memories attached to them. But to have your happiness depend on material things is a sheer waste of time and energy.

How can material things be tied to your happiness?

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