You ask: What is the meaning of life? The meaning of life is to pursue and embrace Goodness. It has many forms. such as: Beauty, Kindness, Truth, Liberty, Fellowship, Love, Authenticity, Friendship, Responsibility, etc.
Happiness may follow from your quest to pursue Goodness, especially if when you wake up each morning you decide to be happy that day, and also if you remind yourself to think a happy , cheerful thought, or two, during the day. Happiness also results as one approaches a goal one has long worked for, so throw yourself into some worthwhile, noble activity that is challenging to you, and put in over ten thousand hours developing a skill for it. Then give yourself away! Donate proceeds to a good cause. Volunteer to serve the needy. Express your artistry freely.
You ask about the materialism of this (and perhaps past) generations. It follows from ignorance. When people are enlightened and wise, they are aware that the value of systems, norms, rules and regulations is to result in developing social trust and to systematically make production more efficient. [Efficiency can be measured in kilowatt-hours-per-year; and this is a cosmic accounting system which ought to be the basis of, the standard behind, a universal currency.]
The production - which consists of goods - and services (such as entertainment, nursing, food-serving, cooking, etc.) - has value only to the extent it is effective. To be effective is to enhance quality of life, to serve toward the maximizing of human well-being, for the most people.
So material, and wealth (true wealth - not the mere shuffling around of paper) is useless to us unless it gives us quality-of-life: more leisure, more love and companionship in our life, good health, good friends, good company, and other blessings of that nature. When people understand this, and know that efficiency and productivity - and material goods - are valuable only as they result in effectiveness, only insofar as they make for an increase in planetary human well being .. then their will be less materialism.
As Arthur Jackson points out in his recent booklet entitled How to Live the Good Life: A User's Guide for Modern Humans, it is the set of beliefs we hold that makes us moral and ethical. If we have stupid, self-defeating ideas we will not progress. We are then liable to put short-term goals over long-term benefit. We are liable to value greed, to be corrupt, to seek power over others. Instead seek to have a good character. Honor and respect every individual. Study the writings in Ethics of Marvin C. Katz, Ph.D.
Treasure your individuality. Know that we are all in this together; and "what really helps you, helps me. And vice versa." We stand or fall together. Be inclusive as to who you consider to be in your in-group. Extend you Ethical Radius until it includes more and more people. Empower people 'from the bottom up' rather than waiting for a 'trickle-down.'
I hope this has been helpful and that it speaks to your concerns.