The pitfalls of Materialism in our community

The more you are into materialism, the greater the need for money…

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Latest reports coupled with tangible proof have convinced me that the Black community is full of materialistic consumers.
Even though we constitute less than five per cent of the population in Quebec, we are among the largest consumers of smart phones, flat screen televisions, and other non-essential gadgets and gizmos that give us “status and credibility” in our circles.
We spend thousands of dollars annually on our basic needs, but mostly on our materialistic impulses.
I have oftentimes heard many say that this statement is true because the conditions in which we find ourselves in this country are making us this way. Regardless of the reasoning, it is happening, so we need to figure out how to get ourselves out of this hole.
Nevertheless, before we find out how we’re going to extricate ourselves from this situation, let me discuss how materialism is killing the black community.
Permit me to offer a caveat, that the following observations are solely those of a personal nature. I do not profess to have all the answers to everything, and as a consequence apologize to any reader who may have been led to believe that the contrary bore any figment of truth. Like any other communal-minded citizen, I do have concerns about certain issues that affect us as a people and a community, and in addition the changes that we can collectively make to keep improving the community. So my ultimate goal and ambition(s) is wholeheartedly geared towards improvement at large, and in the creation of an ongoing dialogue amongst anyone and everyone on ways that we can all work together to get this done.
In addition, I also have a problem with the term ‘blaming the victim,’ simply because the term victim implies that we are powerless. Black people are not powerless; we are merely failing to use our power.
It does not take the workings of a genius to figure out that the more you are into materialism, the greater the need for money. Simply put, we are working harder and longer than ever, all at the expense of family time. To this end, it does not matter if it is a single or two parent household. Everyone is working and spending less time with the children. To compensate for this we are buying them things and turning them into materialistic consumers of the future.
One of the most important consequences of our materialism is our creation of rotten, spoiled, entitled children. It is evident that the more monetary ladders we climb, the more our kids develop an unquenchable appetite for more and more material goods.
Everything from I Pod, I phones, My phone, Smart phones, tablets, video games, clothes, shoes… and an assortment of other unnecessary items are included in their basic list of needs.
Get into their Facebook or should that be Wastebook page, or even talk to them, and learn or hear how frustrated they are over their parents not buying the right pair of shoes, the jacket or something else.
It is sad, but our community is sick in this manner. If you have spent any time in a school volunteering, mentoring or even speaking with children, you will very soon and quickly find out that the days of career ambitions, being a doctor, lawyer, business owner, veterinarian … are over.
Everyone wants to be a famous entertainer, singer, rapper or sports athlete. Obviously, this depends on the area you live and the school that you’re in, but this does not take away from the fact that there is a large segment of our population that is drowning in the materialism hunt.
They all suffer from delusional career ambitions. The kicker is that no one wants to work for it; they all feel entitled by birth. Role models are very important to every young child.
There was a time when these models were found in the home, but those days seem to be over for most families. Today our children’s role models are discovered on television, in social media, and are the big ballers in the community. It does not matter how these people get their wealth or material goods, it just matters that they’ve got them.
A great many are to be found in the hip hop community and are not teaching our children the right morals, values and community-minded mentality we need for the future.
We are economically misdirected, preferring commodities to assets. There’s nothing wrong with being a consumer, but we are consuming the wrong things. Our materialism has blinded us to the true picture of economics and the importance of sharing wealth. We just want to buy things that are pretty, carry status and make us feel better. We are purchasing depreciating commodities that are not providing any future economic support for our families.
If we were buying assets with the thousands of dollars in annual spending, or supporting our fellow Black business owners, then our community would be in a great position, but we are not. We are purchasing depreciating commodities that make everyone rich and us poor.
Something must change. We must not allow further ingestion of the hemlock of materialism. The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg.
It’s not about our circumstances, but all about what we are made of as a community.
Aleuta—- The struggle continues.