Our Obsession With Shiny Objects

Bill Sims, Jr. shares how giving thanks instead of getting stuff leads to a more fulfilling life.

Ours is a world focused on “shiny stuff”. An endless parade of shiny new things that will supposedly make us happier.

Whether it’s a new baby doll or toy car, we are taught from the earliest age to strive harder, to be better, so we can get more shiny stuff.

Soon we learn that shiny stuff isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. The wrapping paper goes in the trashcan, and the shine begins to wear off. It’s time to donate the old stuff to make room for the new stuff…. “Do you have something shiny?” we ask….

And so the cycle continues throughout our lives… an empty pursuit of more shiny stuff.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get off the bus any time you like.

A wise man once said that our happiness does not come from shiny stuff, and he counseled that it is better to give than to receive.

When we take time to give thanks to others for what they do, we become happier and healthier. And they do too.

A string of tragedies from Boston to Sandy Hook to Aurora have left thinking people questioning what is missing in our world.

Sadly, the young have few answers… for this dangerous world is all they’ve known, and they have little to compare it with. But those with gray hair know the answer. Our affection for our fellow human beings (even strangers) has, without our knowing it, cooled off.

Want to make a difference?

Then start by thinking about that special person in your life who made a difference to you. Pause for a moment and reflect on that special parent or child, aunt or uncle, grandparent or sibling.

Perhaps it was a special teacher who first inspired you, or a boss who mentored you. Or maybe you will remember fondly that co-worker or friend who has always been there for you through the ups and downs….Continue reading at InspireMeToday.com.

Bill Sims, Jr., is President of The Bill Sims Company, Inc. and the author of Green Beans and Ice Cream.

Photo Credit:F. Delventhal

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Jenevieve P.
Past Member 4 years ago

Confession: I love gold. I love its richness on things such as on picture frames and other forms of objects that are embelished. Personally, my everyday glassware has 24 kt. gold trim on it. Don't know what it is,.. but I can't stand the look of blazei' glassware! I like things that are an extension of elegance that give way to how I like to feel about myself inwardly, that is not always reflected outwardly.
Our homes are an expression of who we are, while our true authentic self can be misjudged by the way we dress.
As many life coaches will say, dress your best when you go out because you don't know who you might meet. A first impression is always remembered. If we were gold or jewelry that is tasteful, it CAN (sometimes) show a sense of self esteem and self respect where other times, it is purely gawdy. The same can be said about how ones home is decorated (i.e.: Donald Trump's home. EVERYTHING IS GOLD!! It's like a gold Masoleum) he might like it, but alot of others might not. Once again, Our shining objects,are an inward extension of ourselves being expressed outwardly.

Mary B.
Mary B4 years ago

With out lots of people buying lots of 'shiny things' the whole economy would tank. Unless of course, we stopped basing our economy on jobs making unneeded stuff and convincing people to over consume.Especially if they go into debt doing it.In the mean time, buying lots of stuff and passing it on is the only way to get the 'trickle down' theory to work.

J. J.
J. J.4 years ago

To use an old expression..."All that glitters is not gold..."

Biby C.
Biby C4 years ago

Strangely, I have never liked anything shiny. I prefer matt surfaces when it comes to jewellery and metals. When I bought my first apartment, I specifically told the developer not to polish my marble flooring :)

Tanya W.
Tanya W4 years ago


Val M.
Val M4 years ago


Julie van Berkel
Julie vanberkel4 years ago

2 years ago I invited my friend over to stay, as he is going through a tough time at the moment, and I thought we could just talk, and go out places or play Scrabble. I was not expecting him to come down with all his electrical gadgets, and clutter up my lounge for the duration of his stay! This year I offered he stay over again - MINUS the gadgets. He said he would keep his tablet and other gadgets in his room. But, during his 3 day stay he bought enormous new speakers, top of the range headphones, and about 50 albums. All of this had to stand in our lounge, as his room was already cluttered with his other "toys". It did make me feel sad, and i thought: no wonder your marriage is in crisis. You have forgotten the art of conversation...

Sonali G.
Sonali G4 years ago

I believe that Christianity taught us that the poor were that way because it was God's will. This is re-inforced by quotes such as
"Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
and followed up by Mathew 5:5
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Just to keep the poorest 'in their place.'
Reakon it is a wealthy person who would tell you, " ...happiness does not come from shiny stuff...it is better to give than to receive."
Yes, says the rich man. Give it all to me!!!!

Brian M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Shiny objects appeal to primates.

Edo R.
Edo R4 years ago

Thanks for sharing