Material Wealth vs. Social Isolation and Unhappiness

Essay by HisotasoCollege, UndergraduateB, June 2008

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There seems to be a common theme today regarding happiness, people can't find it. Even people who you would think were the happiest among us, the rich, famous and successful, for some reason aren't content no matter how much money of fame they obtain. One reason for this may be that in order to become extremely successful and remain at the top of our game forces us to focus almost exclusively on furthering our careers. Another is the extremely materialistic society we have here in the US, which places more value on material things than friends, family, or the environment.

The ultimate goal in life is to be happy. Whether we think in those terms or not, we all have goals to attain, and the fulfillment of those goals of course brings some sense of accomplishment and achievement. However, in our pursuit of happiness one must be careful not to miss the forest for the trees, in other words not to be caught up in each immediate goal so much as not to see the bigger picture in life.

We should stop to identify the value of the most important things in our lives that we already have, our social and family ties, and the opportunity to achieve.

Today we see people both poor and extremely wealthy who are unhappy. Children of all social classes battle depression, drug use, violence, and an entire host of social or anti-social issues that lead to many lifelong problems such as obesity, eating disorders, and other emotional problems. In the United States of America, where anyone who cares to try can achieve living standards better than any other people throughout history, people seem to be unhappier than ever. It doesn't seem to matter how much money you make, in fact, several studies have...