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If you want to be happy, which I believe you do since you are reading the happiness blog, you need to choose people over things. Loving relationships are one of the key sources of happiness and there is no way you would be able to achieve that if you prioritize things over people.
This thought has been quoted multiple times all over the internet and hence we should take some time to understand, what exactly are things in this context?
What are things?
Here are a few reasons why you should always choose people over things.
1. People grow. Things don’t
People grow in life. They become mature adults from innocent kids and if you invest in the innocent kids, they would be able to make something of themselves. You can’t make things grow. Once you buy things like a car or a house, you need to maintain the thing and the thing doesn’t grow emotionally, which brings us to the next point.
2. People have emotions. Things don’t
Even if you try, you can’t hurt a dining table. I mean, you can break if you try but you can’t hurt it emotionally. That’s because things do not have emotions. Therefore, if you have to choose between things and people, choose people. People have emotions. Once those emotions are hurt, they take a long time to recover. Sometimes, they never recover.
Things do not have emotions. People do. Things do not feel happy, sad, lonely, miserable, or whatever. People do. It is weird to live in a world where the world cares about things which do not have emotions over people who do.
Why would you expect people to love you when they see that you value anything inanimate over them? It may be something tangible or intangible. But, people have emotions and valuing things over them is a sin.
3. You can’t build relationships with things
You can’t make relationships with your car/s. Relationships are what make life happier and worthy of living. People who love and care for your happiness make you happy. You can’t get happiness from inanimate objects. Therefore, whenever there is a choice, choose relationships over people.
You could, however, build a relationship with things too, but those relationships are an outcome of your relationships with people. What are the memories you have with your car?
It’s about the people who travelled with you, and shared the journeys you took.
4. The happiness that things buy is fleeting or short-lived
If you buy something expecting to make you happy for a long period, you are mistaken. Nothing can make you happy for a sustainable time period. Whatever you buy, no matter how big, would only make you happy for a certain time period, at most a month and then life would take over.
Life consists of your professional and personal relationships which form the crux of your everyday schedule.
5. Relationships once gone are gone forever. You can buy more things
Once you lose a relationship, you lose it once and for all. People once gone don’t come back. If you love them, don’t let them go. Do whatever you can, if you can, within your means financially and emotionally to save relationships.
On the other hand, when you lose things and money, you can get them back. Let’s say your car that you love gets hit in a bad accident. You and your family survive. Don’t mourn that the car is damaged. Celebrate that you and your loved ones survive. You can buy another car, if not immediately, then a little later. But, remember that people once lost, don’t come back.
6. You can’t kiss, cuddle, hug or make love to things
The painful thing is that people don’t realize how much damage they do to their loved ones when they make them feel that they value an inanimate thing over a living, breathing creature. Take care of your people please. That’s where love and happiness lies.
7. Things won’t remember how you treat them
Things don’t remember how you treat them. Even if you take a hammer and break down your house, it won’t cry. People would remember how you treated them, especially when they were in their lowest moments.
8. If you take care of people, they would buy you things when they can
Even if you really want to buy a bunch of things which you or your partner or parents can’t afford at the moment, if you are good to them, they will buy you those things when they can afford them. How is that a top priority, and why?
The point is if you are prioritizing relationships over material possessions or vice versa. If you prioritize material possessions over relationships, then you may have things in the short-term, but in the long term you would turn out to be a lonely and sad person. You won’t really have anyone to celebrate anything with.
9. The joy of things is with people you love
Things have no meaning if you don’t have anyone to celebrate them with. Consider travel as a thing since ‘traveling’ is an activity which doesn’t have life. Now, if you travel alone to even the most beautiful place on earth and you don’t have the company that you want, you would not be able to enjoy the beauty of the place since you feel lonely inside. If you buy the most expensive car in the world and there is no one to travel with you in the car, you won’t have any happiness in the car.
Things have value because we have people we love to celebrate them with, or they are bland and meaningless.
10. In your deathbed, you won’t remember things
This should convince you that things are not the most important ‘things’ in life.
11. You can show-off people or things
This is interesting. We all are attention seekers but it reveals a lot about a person whether they are showing off things or people. The social media is full of all sorts of people. People who show their relationships are happier than people who show off their things. Things without people look quite empty as a show-off.
12. People can’t be replaced. Things can be replaced any day
You can, and will buy a new car, a new house, a new bed, or whatever it is. You won’t be able to buy a new mother, a new father, a new sibling. You could get another girlfriend or boyfriend but you won’t get the same person again. No two relationships in the world are same. Choose people over things because you can replace things easily with better things. Not as easy or doable with people.
I don’t know why I harp so much on this subject when it is pretty obvious. But, then I guess, not everyone chooses to see the obvious. I hope you do.
Thank you for reading.
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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.