A young lady asked a great question recently:
“Why do people who get everything become the most unhappy?”
She went on to explain,
“My friend is spoiled. She’s not a brat and doesn’t have a bad attitude and I wouldn’t call it depression or anything as she’s usually super happy but then when she does get sad she says she’s missing something. And she’s not the only friend like that. Why do spoiled people think they’re missing something that’ll make them happy?”
Here is my response:
This is an excellent question, Jessica!
It appears that in Western society we’re led to believe that if we have more material possessions it will somehow make us feel more fulfilled inside. If we have a bigger TV, a better car, more jewellery, fancy clothes, etc., we will somehow miraculously feel happy – and that’s not true at all!
Of course having “some” money and possessions can make our lives a lot easier and less of a struggle but possessions themselves do NOT make us happy inside. Fact.
Sadly, a lot of people spend their lives trying to obtain more and better material possessions in the hope that it’ll make them feel happy and fulfilled (like the TV adverts tell us they will) and they then neglect the things in life which will genuinely help them with their happiness.
There is much research and discussion about what makes us feel “complete” (i.e. like we’re not missing something) but generally having a sense of purpose and belonging are key to this. A few years ago I read a great book called Dare to Connect by Susan Jeffers (Piatkus Books, 1995) which helped to get me on the right track to start to understand this.
Please do feel free to talk to me about this if you want to discuss it further.