A materialistic society is hypnotized by commerce. Listening to American media quickly reveals the materialism that now rules in the United States. From electoral campaigns to electric cars, price is the topic of focus and discussion. The European Debt Crisis, the Chinese refusal to devalue the yuan, the rise and fall of stock prices. These are featured as major news stories every day.
What is the price of this obsession with money and materialism? The United States and the European Union are grappling with this question as they surface from a period of devastating money manipulation by the unscrupulous. In the United States, religion is merging with materialism in the Republican Party. The bottom line may well become an object of worship.
As a humanist, I believe the worth of human life is the ultimate measure of value in this world. I mean this in a cumulative and individual way. The cumulative value of human existence has no monetary price. The value of a moment of an individual life has no monetary price. Comfort can be purchased. Joy and peace cannot. Stimuli can be purchased. Appreciation and understanding cannot. Education can be purchased. Depth and insight cannot.
The price of being a practicing humanist in an individual life is very little in terms of money. It is very high in terms of time, effort and commitment. Time is the currency of deliberation, mindfulness and compassion. Persistence is the currency of maintaining health and mental well being.