But our society's push to value people by what they can produce or how useful they are to others in a material sense has an insidious and evil effect. It tends to cause people to start to value themselves not as people, but in terms of their material worth. i.e people start to assess their worth as a 'thing' rather than a person. For example, men often feel they must be seen as hard workers, as bread winners - and it is often the case, but that is not the worth of a man. Seeing ourselves in such ways leaves us extremely vulnerable. The man who values himself on his work suffers terribly when he loses his job through redundancy or injury. For women, and no doubt many men as well, the idea that someone can only be valued by their material worth is also extremely damaging. Apart from the pressures to be a perfect housewife or whatever, there is the constant concern about one's physical appearance and perhaps for both men and women, a pressure to perform sexually. I say perform, because that is what sex has become, an amusement, a service that one person provides to another (or to each other), a gratification rather than the culmination of spiritual love between two people. Thus, when women dress in lingerie, they are presenting themselves as a 'thing', this no doubt continues to varying degrees in other forms of dress. This is not new, it was identified in the 1960's as the 'objectivation of women' and 'chauvanistic' men were blamed. But this is just one way of 'thingifying' people, and many women look at men now through the same lens of lewdness ie. assessing them on their sexual worth. This is unbelievably demeaning to humanity and damaging to individuals, who may gravitate to sexuality as a means of finding some form of love in what for them may be an otherwise loveless world. And as bad as this sex problem was in the 1960's and 1970's (with 'Carry on' movies and 'Benny Hill Shows') this problem is now far worse with twerking and other acts that would have been unthinkable for mainstream media back then.
I am not sure how these problems are fixed, but as a start a simple exercise is to check yourself as you walk into a shop. Make an effort to greet the sales person as you come in, reflect on your mental state, are you really focussed on them as a person? or is your priority getting down to the business of getting what you want? If your primary thought when meeting someone like this is what you want to buy, then to some degree you are treating that person as a thing. So I suggest turning it around, when you walk into a shop, think of it primarily of an interaction of two people, you are about to meet another person, another beautiful creation of God, and in light of that any material outcomes the visit may result in are relatively minor, and in fact the purchase itself is probably of hardly any signficance.