Materialism, consumerism, and relativism rules the world today, the truth is that in the midst of all these, there is such a thing as “The Dignity of Labor”
It’s a fast growing world; it’s an age of materialism, consumerism and relativism. A time where a man’s level of significance is rated based on his net-worth. The world has become so competitive that living has almost been reduced to a rat race – no one wins in a rat race because it is a purposeless race. It is true that “even if you win a rat race, you are still a rat”.
Consumerism is an economic ideology that encourages acquisition of goods and services on a continuous basis even if there is no need of it, I remember I was taught this concept as far back as secondary school. The act and art of “shopping” is a culture in the west, the government has made it even easier by providing a credit card – The idea is to keep people buying even if they do not have money at the time. materialism and consumerism share a tie.
I once read about the hit track Material Girl of the pop singer Madonna: this track made it to the top of the music charts and remained there for a several weeks. Madonna attested that we live in a material world and she is a material girl. This song gained acceptance like wildfire and sold millions of copies across the world – even to Japan and the Caribbean. Now I ask; what made this song caught the eye of both the young and the old? I think it is because as simple as the song seem, the lyrics was able to capture the spirit of the time, the song was able to tickle the fancy of even the adults who may not even agree with the lifestyle, personality, philosophy, or the genre of the pop culture. The reality the song expresses to them is simply undeniable.
The movie 50 Shades of Grey thrilled us last year – this movie also caught global eye, the movie has topped the best-seller lists around the world. It sold over 125 million copies across the world as at June 2015, it has been translated into not less than 52 languages, and has set a record in the UK as the fastest-selling paperback of all time. The movie was notable for its erotic scenes, left nothing in my mind than the reality of the fallen man, and it also strengthened the concept of relativism. We live in a world where things are no more white or black – a big world has been created between both colors and its “grey”, the truths is that we have far more than 50 shades of grey in the world today, and another truth is that God’s design for marriage and sex has not changed. I once asked a colleague at work a question and his reply was “it depends”, relativism came back to mind, and I realized nothing is absolute anymore.
The American-born Nigerian popular singer, performer and producer: David Adedeji Adeleke, generally known with the stage name Davido once released a single titled “Owo Ni Koko” meaning “Money is the most important”. The message of the song was simple: “you must have money” Davido clearly stated that he doesn’t care the skill, ability, gifts, and morals a man posses, all he cares about his the amount of money in his pocket. How sad it was for me to watch that video. What a material world!
The concept and culture of materialism, relativism and consumerism is a life driving force for the youths across the globe. The world of entertainment, fashion, even sports and career are all fueled by these concepts. The bang of the music-video industry promoting riches and affluence by young artist who portray zero record of an honest hard day work further gave more muscle to the concept of success being measured in terms of material wealth. I believe so much in the talent I have seen in the music industry globally and of course in Nigeria – those guys are quite good with their craft. I also believe these idols work so hard to find themselves in affluence, perhaps not all of them. I just do not understand why all they have to say and show the millions of young followers and fans is how much wealth they have possessed. Now every young folks out there wants to get rich and wealthy because that is what success means to them, well, that is not much of a big deal to me.
I have learnt that there is such a thing as – DIGNITY OF LABOR. I have heard it from my mentor and tutors. My boss once told me that growing up, one virtue her generation was taught and held with high esteem was dignity of labor – which just emphasizes hard-work as they only way to success. This virtue is far gone in my day. I do not have a problem with people desiring or aspiring success – as wrong as the concept is today, what really is worrisome is the concept of success without hard work. People talk of being wealthy and talk nothing about hard-work; youths across the world idolize their favorite celebrities and just plan to wake up someday with wealth. The simple truth is that people do not stumble on riches.
I do not even know how to tell my generation that success has nothing to do with materialism – success is just fulfilling the purpose for creation, if due that course wealth is created then it is cool, and if there is no wealth it is not bad either. It is just true that everyone will not be wealthy. I have come to terms with the reality of the material world we live in; also that every man has a dream. Now this is my assertion – every man must understand that there is dignity in labor.
To the youths out there – I weep when I see the male folks putting their trousers below their waste, I weep even more when I see the female folks promoting nudity, and my heart stops when I see the level of idolization of these celebrities – who only teaches you that life is all about material possession. The concepts of materialism, relativism and consumerism was designed to waste lives, you have to be conscious of this.
To have the Nigeria, Africa, and the world of our dreams; then we must learn the value of hard-work – there is no two ways to success. Whatever sphere of life you find yourself, what brings fulfillment is not how much you have – rich people will tell you that. There is such a thing as dignity of labor.
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…life is designed to defeat the weak