A break from maudlin materialism


Sir, – Hooray for Jacky Jones (Second Opinion, Health+ Family, December 11th). She has, with one robust philosophical swipe, offered us some hope of liberation from ourselves and our oppressively debilitating societal plagues: maudlin materialism, shallow wannabeeism and blind consumerism.

“Friendship, freedom and thought” are the desired salient substitutes and bingo, they “don’t cost us a red cent” she concludes.  This rich-vein alternative reality should be roundly trumpeted nationwide through schools, homes, workplaces and in all open-air spaces. Quoting the early philosopher Epicurus, Ms Jones sketches those human desires for things which are either natural, necessary, or neither. She identifies “those things that do not contribute one iota to happiness, such as power, fame and celebrity lifestyles.” So true.

The simplicity of her commentary is both compelling and convincing. Would that we all could embrace and imbibe the same sentiments for some sane equilibrium amid life’s challenging vicissitudes. That “all” includes media/advertising corporations, goods and foods firms and healthcare product manufacturers, all of whose utterances “are skewed by commercial interests”.

What we should be doing is “asking what is truth, what is best and why.” Sales patter, vending pitch and marketing ploys are all all jaundiced from the off. Jacky Jones’s treasured troika of core human needs “friendship, freedom and thought” trump all – and how. – Yours, etc,


Chapel Street,

Lismore, CoWaterford.