I was reading an article on ipods today in the paper. Now, there is nothing wrong with ipods - they are merely a huge evolutionary leap over the walkmans of old. But the article was about how they are this big status symbol. If you are young, you need an ipod in order to be "hip" and "cool." If you are older, you need an ipod in order to appear younger, and therefore "hip" and "cool".
The words "hip" and "cool" have never been used to describe me. There was a time in life when this bothered me. It no longer matters. What disturbed me about this article was that people insist on believing that whatever the "it" product may be will bring them happiness. Yes, Madison Avenue spends millions of dollars to convince us of this, but it is also an inborn trait within human beings. We want to be like everyone else. We want what others have. In my opinion, "Thou shall not covet" is the hardest commandment to follow.
The truth is, however, that once our basic needs of love, food, security, and shelter are met, extra things can bring us only temporary happiness. Creating our identity around what we own is a fool's errand, because there will always be the next big thing, the next thing that you must have in order to matter to society. There is no happiness in that, and satisfaction will always be elusive. It is only when we base our identity on who we are in the eyes of God as opposed to what we own that we can truly find peace and joy.