ME: Today I want to talk about materialism.
LUCY: Okay, what about it?
ME: I really do not have much, but as soon as my circumstances change, I really want to own skyscrapers for the heck of it, wear Tom Ford suits and smell of Gucci perfumes. And I often worry that it makes me a shallow person.
LUCY: Why would it?
ME: (looks down) Because the society perceives materialistic people to be.
LUCY: (looks up) The society looks down on people who let their materialistic possessions define them.
ME: (rolling eyes) But, what does that even mean?
LUCY: It means that a Gucci perfume remains just that, a Gucci perfume. It doesn’t make you any better anyhow than the person with a much cheaper one, if any at all. The thing about materials is, they serve a purpose, to make life easier or luxurious whatsoever, and as long as you acquire them for that use only, you’re still on the right track I guess, but the moment you use them to feel superior and more entitled to attention and respect than other people, then you’re getting derailed.
ME: (smiling) So there is nothing wrong with being materialistic then?
LUCY: Yes, only if you can afford that lifestyle. The problem is the price most people often pay for it, they often acquire it at the expense of other people, and that is not right.
ME: So rich people are evil?
LUCY: Being evil or not has nothing to do with your financial status, it’s in your heart. The thing about evilness is it is just an ill thought, whether exercised or otherwise.
ME: So, rich people do not have a responsibility towards the poor?
LUCY: They do, in the every same way the poor have the same responsibility towards each other, most importantly, towards themselves. Help another person in any and every way you can when you can, but always remember, their insolvency can only be truly averted by them and no one else, not even the “rich” (air quotations).
ME: Thank you so much Lucy (rubbing hands in excitement), but I feel like we’re drifting away from the topic now. So let me ask this once again, there is anything wrong with wanting to be rich?
LUCY: No, as much as there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be rich as well.
ME: So, it doesn’t make one shallow then?
LUCY: No it doesn’t, as much as being covered in rags would not make the next man any “deeper” than you, or me for that matter.
ME: So, loving materialistic possessions is okay then?
LUCY: (smiles) As long as you still love people more.
ME: Damn, okay, this is getting “deep” (imitates Lucy’s famous air quotations)……….. (thinks for a moment) So tell me, does it really mean…………………………………
[TO BE CONTINUED…….]