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The Repercussions of Buying Love

By Sophia Qamar

One can’t help but wonder if, among all the material items immersed in every nook and cranny of the world, buying love isn’t just one of the fatal calamities to have struck from our transgressing modernization. By “buying love” I mean the act of purchasing the human emotion from another through expensive items/comments in order to feel loved—it’s a common sort of action that is mainly stemmed from the attraction to materialism and popularity which then thrusts forward into the idea that materialism and popularity can fill the true emotion of love. It can’t obviously, but a warning doesn’t stop it from happening.

Now whether we would care to admit the truth or not, there has been one time that we, as flawed people are, succumb into the appeal of material love (only the rare few can bear the resistance). Like myself for instance: it was fourth grade and I was hopelessly bullied by many of my peers. As a 10 year old, I felt as if my life was in shambles, which only fell further to such a degree that I considered me and my individuality as little as an ant. You see, an ant can be seen as nothing without the support of its colony, and mine had me going off alone with brutal words and lowered self-esteem. So I fell into a stupor in which I thought buying out the love of my predators could be the only way for me to love myself. Everyone wants to be loved—and with candy and surprise ‘I’m Sorry for Being a Loser’ gifts, I was sure to be loved plenty.

But then after a few happy months, another problem arose: I ran out of money. The twinkle in my “friends’” eyes started to dim after a week or two, and though they never admit it, I was becoming the quiet seventh wheel that they didn’t want to tell secrets to anymore.

And that, my friends, is how I learned to quit indulging myself and the people around me with the gluttonous ideals of bought admiration—the hard way. But if it wasn’t for my mistakes, I would not have learned how to deal with it in the future, which I suppose I am thankful for now. And though I am not completely absolved from all experiences in which I try to buy the admiration from new acquaintances, I try harder to remember that the only person that needs to love me is me.

Now, you can go ahead and tell me, “Sophia, it’s easier said than done,” and I’ll go ahead and agree with you. Humans have an urge to be loved (it was proven in some unethical experiment involving a cat and barbed wire…or something of that nature); it’s certainly a lot better than being disliked. And though I can write it as much as I want, and you can think it as much as you want, we still live in a world where materialism and aesthetics are the star attraction. Whether it be bombarding that one new acquaintance with a plethora of attractive compliments to seem agreeable (which, to a degree, isn’t bad at all until the personality begins to change) or showering people with little (or big) knick-knacks, it’s easy to fall into the appeal of popular love.

I’m not saying being liked by people is a bad thing, but if you’ve heard anything about the story of Alice in Wonderland and the fate of the Red Queen, you’d know that the addiction to being loved and strive for the popularity can only end with a chopped head and grossly red painted roses.

Alright that may have been an exaggeration.

But it can certainly lead to depression, a fate I did suffer through. I didn’t think I was important, and because I assumed no one loved me, I began to hate myself. With that, this addiction to be loved may also show others a personality different from one’s true self, one that may brim closely to the definition of fake.

To say this in the way that I will be saying it, it may seem like horrible advice, especially when coming from someone who still falls into abyss of materialism and popularity. But I think the best advice comes from a place of experience. So I urge you to bear with me and believe me when I write that this may just be the best advice I have ever known:

“Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” –Henry David Thoreau

If that doesn’t work, and you still feel the urge to be socially accepted…go Wilde:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wilde


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