Are You a Human Haver or Human Being?

It seems that today we’ve become a society of having and accumulation – an American nation of shoppers.  Why even our last two Presidents Bush and Obama have implored us to keep shopping and buying so that we could continue feed all the industries built on our consumerism.

“There is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed” said Ghandi.  Having becomes a distraction, a way to avoid being.  And you can thank our Puritan forbearers who taught that prosperity was a sign one was predestined to go to the promised land.  Of course, this also got people to work hard, which has become the legacy of the Puritans.  Now many of us go into shock and depression when we don’t acquire success and its fruits.

It amuses me that American families equate a minimum standard of living to include a minimum of two cars complete with stereo systems and back seat DVD players, at least three flat screen color TVs all with several hundred channel choices, cell phones for everyone in the family, high speed Internet, ownership of a home that is at least 50% larger than their parent’s, a refrigerator full of beer, wine, or gourmet food, and a closet full of cosmetics, sports equipment, designer clothes and shoes, not to mention other things in garages that that are not used and quickly forgotten.  While the media constantly has focused upon materialism and excessive consumerism, now even our government has joined the promotional chorus.

More importantly, today we implicitly associate “”success” with goodness and everything else as some sort of moral flaw.  We have become “Human Havers” with social success and consumerism the de facto measurement.  Don’t get me wrong, I, too, enjoy all the many pleasure that our material things offer and don’t advocate taking a vow of poverty, but I have concluded that all that supposed admiration and power associated with being a human haver doesn’t keep one from feeling lonely and disconnected.

Do you want to make the transition to fulfillment?

Bob Fagan is a Performance/Fulfillment Coach and Consultant and can be reached at

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)