You must have heard the word ‘hedon’ as in everyday conversation ‘you really hedon’ and so on. Usually, the word is used to describe or criticize someone who has a consumptive lifestyle, wasteful of using money for things that are not important.
The word hedon is also commonly said to someone who has high shopping desire, buying this item without thinking. Actually, what is meant by hedonism and its ins and outs, to how to avoid hedonistic behavior? The following is the explanation as quoted from various sources.
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Definition of Hedonism
Hedonism comes from the Greek language, namely hedonismeos with the root word hedone. The word hedone means “pleasure,” while hedonismos is defined as a perspective that assumes that people will be happy by seeking as much pleasure as possible. This pleasure can be obtained in various ways, such as enjoying entertainment, owning property, sexual activities, and so on.
History of Hedonism
The word hedonism has appeared since the beginning of the emergence of philosophy, or when humans started to do philosophy in 433 BC. This view emerged when Socrates, one of the most famous philosophers, questioned the purpose of human life in this world. This question eventually gave birth to a view of hedonism. At that time hedonism was not to describe negative behavior, but to describe the essence of human existence on this earth.
The answer to Socrates’ question which later became the view of hedonism or which is now known as hedonism originated from the thoughts of several other philosophers, such as Aristippus and Epicureans. The two philosophers have different views on hedonismos.
Aristippus described all human pleasures as physical, as well as his displeasure. Meanwhile, Epikuros defines hedonism as human happiness that must be obtained by balancing positive and negative things. Unlike Aristippus, Epicurean implanted the spiritual aspects of the individual in his thinking.
Furthermore, various people who describe this thought in modern times ultimately have the same outline, that hedonism is the view of a person who tries to live for pleasure as the ultimate goal, especially for himself.
The Positive and Negative Sides of Hedonism
If you look at the meaning of hedonism at the beginning of this view, then hedonism is not a really bad thing. Seeking pleasure in life is not wrong in this short life. However, if seeking pleasure is made as an absolute goal, then a person will not have empathy for other individuals because they are only trying to continuously fulfill personal pleasure.
There are two factors why human behavior and perspective on life can lead to hedonism, including:
– Internal Factor
This factor is actually embedded in most humans, maybe almost all of them. There is an insatiable sense of pleasing oneself. This can be positive if channeled to continue learning, such as thirst for knowledge, education, desire to be more advanced. However, if this feeling of insatiability is only for personal pleasure, it can have bad consequences and become the forerunner of consumerist behavior.
– External Factor (External Factor)
One of the external factors of hedonism in society, including in Indonesia, is the entry of globalization so that you get various views and see lifestyles and habits from outside. Advances in technology, such as the internet, are able to change people’s behavior in getting pleasure. For example, social media is mushrooming, where users show their existence, such as showing off a glamorous lifestyle, luxury goods, and others.
The emergence of hedonism in society has both positive and negative impacts. From the negative side, people who adhere to a hedonistic view of life have the following characteristics:
1. Tend to be more selfish
2. Do not have empathy for the social environment
3. Trying to achieve his pleasure by all means
4. Conduct rationalization or justification for their pleasures when the pleasure is contrary to legal and social norms
5. Can do everything possible to fulfill his pleasure so that it might harm others.
On the other hand, hedonistic behavior can provide a positive side to people who adhere to this perspective of life, including being able to take advantage of all opportunities well, never give up in achieving goals, and have strong motivation to get what you want.
Shifting Meanings of Hedonism in the Modern Era
Today, the meaning of hedonism for most people describes hedonism as a consumptive behavior or consumerism that has a negative impact on adherents. Of course this lifestyle is influenced by internal and external factors, including:
From a child, parents are too spoiled, given various facilities or conveniences so that they feel they always get what they want regardless of the balance of needs, and other factors
2. The presence of ‘influencers’ on social media greatly affects jealousy to have luxurious things that are actually not able to be obtained so that they force all means even though they have to be in debt
3. Associating or associating with people who have a luxury standard of living, using branded goods, so that they feel inferior when they are not equal to them. Finally, in order to follow the association, you are willing to spend money to buy the same thing
4. The mushrooming of financial access for people to borrow money and easily repay it.
How to Avoid Hedonic and Consumptive Behavior
Hedon which can lead to consumptive behavior is a life habit that can damage your finances. This lifestyle is inherent among the millennial generation. The salaries of these young people are used up for hanging out in cafes, snacking coffee, eating at restaurants, traveling, and other consumptive behavior without having any savings or investment.
Get rid of hedonistic behaviors or lifestyles if you don’t want to get into financial problems in the future. There are several ways to avoid hedonic behavior, including:
– Make a Priority List of Needs
The first step to stay away from living a hedonistic life, is to compile a list of your priority needs. Write down the list, and keep it in your mind so that it becomes a reminder. So when the desire to buy something is out of necessity, you have to think long whether the item is really needed or not, it can still be postponed or not. Trying to carry out this commitment, so that you are able to hold back your lust to buy things outside of your need.
– Saving and Investing
Every time you receive a salary, immediately use it for routine expenses, such as paying for your house rent, electricity and water bills, if you have debt repayments. Don’t forget to set aside money for savings, emergency funds, and investments. These three are very important so that your finances are stable. If there is a sudden need, you can use an emergency fund. While saving and investing to guarantee your future finances.
– Make a Financial Budget
In order to avoid a hedon lifestyle, you need to make a financial budget. That way, you can find out how much money from income you can spend. How to manage finances usually uses the 50-20-30 system. Each salary or income you receive every month, allocate 50% for daily living expenses, such as food, transportation costs, paying for house rent, electricity and water bills, including credit card bills. Next, set aside 20% of your salary for savings and investments, as well as an emergency fund, while the remaining 30% of your budget is for entertainment, holidays, shopping for clothes or buying the things you want.
– Reduce Credit Card Swipes
Credit cards make it very easy for someone to shop, buy goods, eat at restaurants, and buy tickets for music concerts. Credit cards also offer easy installment payments. But remember using a credit card is tantamount to debt. Even though you can pay it in installments, if you are late you will be fined. Use credit cards wisely, to save on existing promos. Make sure to use a credit card within your budget.
– Charity and charity
This one might sound a little cliché. Charity and charity can keep you from hedonic behavior. You would think that there are still many people who are not as fortunate as you and need your helping hand. This will make you think twice when you want to waste money.
Don’t Get Trapped
The hedon lifestyle is indeed dazzling to the eye. Once trapped, it’s hard to get out of the puddle because there are things that are tempting. Even those who have realized, can get caught again. Therefore, it takes commitment and a strong will to leave it. Start life as is and not too much.