Today I’d like to talk about a topic that has been bothering me since the Black Friday commercials first aired on our televisions. It affects us all as artists, writers, and individual thinkers. Over the past few days, I’ve realized two things.

One, it’s extremely difficult to keep a humble heart during this time of year: the time of gifts, sales, expensive objects, and corrupt bargains. How does an artist, a writer, keep himself grounded during so much chaos? Throughout a time of strong jealousy and shallow competition, how does one keep his spirituality?

Two, the conflict between spirituality and materialism eventually becomes an intense internal battle in all of us. Unfortunately, in many people, materialism triumphs over spirituality. When I walked into the mall this morning with my sister, I legitimately felt the two concepts collide and pull at each other. I felt the desire to be enticed by the sales and the stores; I was drawn to the enthusiastic crowds. But, at the same time, I also felt a need to be grounded and to realize that the things surrounding me were simply objects– that I have a pile of poems at home that need to be revised, that I have stories that need to be developed, that I have a currency of imagination in my mind that I need to spend. This collision of juxtaposing feelings manifested itself as anxiety, and I’m sure many of you can relate to the feeling. But should this REALLY be happening? Should materialism be such a strong presence in our society that it battles our innate human nature to create? To feel humble? To feel human?

I believe that materialism, the desire for objects, is swallowing up our need to tend to our minds and relationships, the things that really matter. I think that objects are just what they are– objects. Spending time with my grandmother and family this week reminded me of that idea very strongly. While objects can be replaced, your spirituality and your connections with others and/or yourself cannot. I’ve found that if a society’s standard grapples for superiority with things like love, good intentions, generosity, creativity, or imagination, it is not worth it. But, the reality is that it does. And, looking around the mall today beside my sister, it made me sad. It made me sad for future generations.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts for today that I could not shake. Please leave a comment below if you feel the same way, or even if you disagree. In addition, I hope all of my readers in America had a fantastic and connecting Thanksgiving. Stay grounded and stay happy.