Saturday, July 20, 2024

Be yourself, never mind the ‘Joneses’ next door!

It is not easy in this day and age not to ‘move with the times’.

It is human nature to want to keep up with our neighbours. We live in an era where people purchase goods for wrong reasons, like just for status instead of need.

But need we really live beyond your means just to gain some sort of acceptance in society?
Neighbours have become a point of reference for our social status and failure to keep up exposes us to economic or cultural inferiority.

Society has set status standards that compel us to adhere to them or else risk not being recognized within our societies.

We are judged by the company we keep and we are also judged by what we own.

Society judges us with gadgets we possess, clothing we wear, especially the labels on those clothes.
We live in a materialistic world and one way or the other we end up just trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’.

It’s really sad that in our society, we tend to measure achievement through trivial things such as possessions.

It’s worse that especially young people get sidetracked and concentrate on material things at the expense of other more important things.

I an effort to amass material things, they lose sight of the real dreams of their lives.
All in the name of status, you find someone who earns a lukewarm salary renting a house in Phakalane with their child schooling at an English Medium school.

Now so many are defaulting on just about everything; no wonder the government is now interested in those who appear to live above their means.

People of all colour and creed always battle inferiority complexes, which lead them into making many questionable decisions, especially when it comes to money. We live beyond our means just to prove a point that no one really cares about.

We see people driving the latest models, Mercedes Beinz or otherwise, yet they rent a house that they could have bought with less than half of what they paid for the latest model they are driving.
It makes you really wonder how people set their priorities.

A visit to furniture shops that offer people credit terms is a sobering experience as one is confronted with volumes and volumes of repossessed items taken back from those same highfliers we see around town.

Then there are those who buy the most expensive cellphones on the market only to send you call-me-back messages as they ride their model cars around town!

It baffles me why we have to work so hard just to appear as if we are on the same level with those next door.

Should we care what the neighbours think?

Neighbours will talk regardless of what you do, or don’t do; own or don’t own.
A life lived on behalf of the perceptions of others about you is not your life.
We should not be swayed by public opinion and buy things we don’t need or wear clothes we don’t like. Where is the fun?

Conformity and happiness never seem to go together. Given the choice, I’d rather be happy than to be accepted while miserable.


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