Coveting material things is basic human nature. It is an instinct that is implemented in us on the day we are born. It is the motive which allows us to struggle continuously to improve ourselves. Because of this instinct, we avoid that which harms us, and instead we are attracted to advantageous matters. This phenomenon plays a great role in advancing human civilization. However, happiness can only be achieved if we struggle towards it, protect ourselves from carelessness; and refrain from the slavery of pure materialism. For one to fulfill the needs of their instincts in an appropriate manner, where praiseworthy traits and excellent morals can develop, they must use their reasoning in every area of life.
Reason guides us – not our instincts. The power of reason, which has the greatest duty in developing our personality, is what possesses the ability to protect us from going astray.
If the instinct of self-love violates the limits of moderation and ventures into the territory of extravagance, it adversely affects our reasoning system. Those who fall victim to such a disorder will eventually drown in the swamp of misguidance and corruption. But, this instinct can only be criticized for its harmfulness when it is within the realm of extravagance. Therefore, the only goal of criticizing self-love is to point out the disadvantages of allowing this instinct to violate the limits of reason.
Both the successes and failures of an individual correlate to their spiritual and moral condition. Moral disorders, which are spread through various stages of life, often stem from problems that arise from our unruly and unjustifiable wants.
We have been given abundant talents and capabilities. Everyone has the power to follow their authentic and reasonable affection. Nevertheless, it is apparent that nothing is more difficult for us than to adjust our instincts.
Therefore, we are compelled to make more of an effort to adjust this instinct or we will be unable to adopt excellent manners. Without self-control, we cannot lead an acceptable and praiseworthy life.