Why Are We Obsessed With Wealth?
Why do we as humans associate gold and precious gems with wealth? Sure they’re pretty to look at, but that is all they are; pretty.
We pay an astronomical amount for basically a shiny rock and metal dug out of the ground. It has no practical use except to show off our wealth, but that barely applies as practical or functional.
And why is jewellery a symbol of affection? As mentioned before it is nice to look at and show off, but it is just something you wear on your wrist or neck. These days it’s a material world. People don’t like words anymore; just look on the internet, no one can spell. Dedications of love are imbued with gifts like jewellery or flowers. I don’t see how it is a gesture of love; the flowers die, and that pretty necklace will only be worn once or twice a year.
I recently started reading Neil Gaiman’s’ American Gods, and I am starting to see the lesson in it; we now worship our own new-world gods: Wealth, Media, Technology etc… Yes, I know religion is still strong in this era, but countless religions have been lost to the mainstream religions of today; the Norse religion is still remembered but not believed in. The Olmec religion went extinct 400 B.C, and although there is no conclusive evidence just how it ended, archaeologists determined it to be an environmental factor, such as volcanic activity, that ended this mysterious religion.
It is not just the human race that is obsessed with wealth. Throughout history and mythology, creatures from all corners of the world had some level of need for gold or wealth. A prime example would be the dragons.
In Western stories, dragons were notorious gold-hoarders. In Germanic Mythology, although the reasons vary considerably, dragons were the depiction and embodiment of greed, right up to the 17th century. In some stories, dragons were simply guardians of the treasure hoard, but it was their own treasure; dragons simply may have had a pathological addiction to gold and shiny things.
Then there is probably one of the most famous mythological beings in the world;
Leprechauns were infamous for their wealth and trickery. The “Pot of Gold” myth was appropriated in later-developed folklore, but not entirely made up either. Leprechauns did indeed have stashes of gold, but they were hidden away in several different places across war-torn areas called “treasure-crocks”.
So in most mythology areas from around the world, humans and creatures have all had some level of obsession with gold. But these days it’s becoming more and more of something else, something more expensive and fragile.
We as humans in this time would go mad without technology. We rely on our phones and watches’ to tell us when our next appointment is, or rely on these new “home assistants” to dim our lights or turn off our appliances. We are moving away from television, but only on the traditional level; we stream all of our shows on our phones, computers and tablets.
And instead of looking for the answer to a question in a book or something, what do we say?