Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Money, Money, Money

Please think about the following questions and write your response accordingly. Please respond off one another where you see fit. Please show depth of thought.

What are your perceptions of material wealth? Where do we see excess today? Do you believe money is the root of all evil? Is your financial status a direct reflection of how successful you are? Are we always wanting more? Is being content enough?

20 Comments:

Blogger BrittanyK said...

Although many people have a lot my perception of material wealth is simple some families can have material goods but still function as a loving household not completely caught up in the aspect of needing more but I think the common perception of wealth that I also have is the one of a family of rich person who uses there money or status as an identity. So my overall perceptions of material wealth just like anything else in life, in moderation it can be beneficial but with excess is where the problem of materialism is. Excess is everywhere to day from wanting to super size meals to the gigantic cars for one person! But if the world had no excess there would also be no moderation.
I believe money can do some of the most amazing things from funding for a school or the construction of a nice hospital. I think that money isn’t evil but at times how people use it is, its simple human nature to want but when you let yourself become so caught up in what you want that you forget about loving the process that is when money becomes evil. I love to shop I always want more clothes, and I really cant help it but I think the problem lays in the materialism of wanting. As much as I love a new outfit I love even more to give away my old clothes to a charity or my friends that I know will appreciate it. So every time I buy something new I try to give something away to remind my self that it’s important to recognize the benefits of helping others as well. So yes being content is enough is just about finding what you can do with your money and things to keep you from wanting so much more you loose sight of how much you have and can offer as a person.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Lauren M said...

When it comes to discussing money equalling happiness, I can't disagree more. This belief of mine also comes with the statement that "how much money you have is how successful you are." I could honestly never imagine how someone would think that. Were Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks filthy rich? No. Would you therefore call them unsuccessful?? I sure hope not. If someone was to say that they were not successful, I would just about throw up. I find it almost disgusting to see how our society has played money as such an important factor to success in our world. There have been SO many poor and terribly off people who have changed millions of lives; whether this be through words or actions, some of the most "honestly" successful people have been poor. Success to me is not defined as the best job or the most STUFF. Success, to me, is acheiving your goals and setting your bar high for everything you do. Sure, if your biggest goals are to have the most STUFF and the most MONEY, then by all means, have at it.I find it horrid, however, that people today cant come to the realization that the world is not full of people like them with millions of dollars flowing out of their pockets. The world is made up of people driving for success every day of their lives in other ways than in jobs or materialism. People are content and proud with loving, giving, and enjoying whatever they have been given in life. It is completely fine to be content, no matter how much our country portrays that that is wrong. These people, the people who are OK with not having the most money, the best job, and the most STUFF,are just as successful, if not more, than the people who make billions just by sitting on a sports team's bench. These people found success in a new and better way: without money. Whatever way they found it, as long as it was not through money, I believe they are perfectly well off, and that they should also spread that to others who may be snobby, selfish, rude about their money. With all of this said, it is NOT in my place to say that money cant buy things that do make you happy. I, for one, love getting new clothes and shoes, jewelry, etc. But do I find THAT kind of success or happiness satisfying?? NO way. The only time I truly feel COMPLETE success is when I know I reached one of my toughest goals I set for myself, when I have given to others what I do not need excess of, or when I simply love and care for others. This is the true success... not money. Today in our world, we have too much STUFF and not enough love. Too much COMPETITION, and not enough equality. Too much WANTING and not enough ACCEPTING. We need to find true success and happiness by giving, loving,setting goals etc. and then we, as a country or world, will be united under the real success.

3:39 PM  
Blogger mgjohnson said...

My perception of material wealth are the luxuries we see most rich people have. I think this only because of the term material. When you say that I don't think you can consider families or love when you think of a material wealth. We see excesses of wealth all around us in wealthy neighborhoods and on television. I don't think money is the root off all evil. I think greed is a bigger root of evil than money because without greed there wouldn't really be problems with money. I think a persons success can only be measured by oneself. I set my own goals, I have my own dreams and aspirations and I decide whether what I have done is successful or not. That may involve money or not but money is not always a direct reflection of how successful I am. Some people may be happy with what they have but I'm sure the majority of us want more. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though it pushes us and makes us strive for better things. I don't think being content is enough. I personally always have to have goals to keep me motivated and active. Being content to me is being lazy. No matter where you are in life you can always improve some aspect of your life. There is no reason to be content when there is always something to do to help yourself or others.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Leigh J said...

Material wealth is a person's monetary worth. How much did their car cost? How big is their car? What does her daddy do? Is that a Prada bag?! Material wealth means nothing in real life though, to me. It is shallow, even empty, but unfortunately the topic of much conversation (usually gossip). Material wealth may define financial status, but what does that then define? It should not define happiness or measure success.

To be content, according to dictionary.com is "to be satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else." I see this as a close synonym to the word complacent. I personally frown upon complacency because I find it lazy, like Matt said, to be okay with where you are in life and do nothing more than what is required to get by. I'm not saying that everyone should become an overachiever, but we should always want more in life. Wanting more should be our drive and the outcome of material wealth should be no deciding factor.

5:42 PM  
Blogger kellyw said...

When I think of someone who is rich, I think right away that they are stuck up and flaunt that they are rich. But then I get start thinking more and how some rich people don’t show that they are rich, they live normal lives, or they give their money to charities. I know a family that is pretty wealthy but if you didn’t know that they were, you would think that they were just your average family. Brittany talked about how she buys a lot of clothes (which is true) but also gives old clothes away. I like that in her especially because she gives her old clothes to me! I also agree with Brittany about today in U.S. everyone wants the biggest and the best of everything. Cars, food, ipods, houses, etc. Money can be the root of all evil. People you think are good people all of a sudden get rich and they feel like they are better than you. Or people compete against each other to have the most stuff or the newest stuff. It’s insane the things that people will do to make money, like Fear Factor. Your financial status shouldn’t be a direct reflection of how successful you are but unfortunately that’s how it is sometimes. Certain jobs get paid more and other jobs get paid less. There is no rhyme or pattern to how much money a certain job should get paid. You would think a teacher would get a lot of money because they educate the future generation, and yet they don’t. Yes, everyone always wants more, and when they get what they want, they want something else again. Being content will never satisfy anyone with the way society is now.

5:44 PM  
Blogger emilied said...

My perceptions of material wealth is that people that care about their material possestions such as purses or cars are lacking in other ways. For example if someone who is shy and has a nice car, that will draw conversation. People that are lacking things in their life often make up with it in material ways. To think that they are better than others becase of the brand lables that they carry. The most excess that we see today is in cities or even the burbs. Kids, teens and even adults that feel the need for competition of material goods. The feeling of being better than someone because they have a Fendi bag compaired to the girl next to her with a bag from Target. I believe that without money their would be little competition in the world. But is that a good or bad thing? Competition drives people but is competition over money the right road to diverge into? I think that society sees your financial status as how successfull you really are. I think that we would all like to think that we don't judge depending on money. But we do, it's how we are raised. Like we said in class the other day we put stereotypes on the rich or wealthy. I think we have a drive that we learn from society that we can never have enough. Even if you're not discussing money or material possestions. We can always have more friends. I agree with Brittany that without excess we would know no moderation. Same with being perfect, who makes the standards?

7:20 PM  
Blogger jaimeL said...

When I think of material wealth I think of people and things like Paris Hilton, "Laguna Beach", Louis Vuitton, Hummers, Donald Trump, and "My Super Sweet Sixteen". To me, I have thought of material wealth as unnecessary and somewhat immature. I mean sure everyone has some kind of material items and has thoughts like "this is the newest version, I have to have it!" And I will admit, I am with the other ipod-carrying people who spot cool clothes or the latest things, but I think it is alittle too greedy when things become "obselete" or "out of style" just because the same thing comes out but just with a different color or an MP3 player. However, maybe material wealth can also be good. I think that in some ways focusing around money can be beneficial if you have the right reasons. In a commercial, lawyers say their company is based on money; money to help a girl pay for her surgery after she was hit by a drunk driver. Another example is a volunteer group who bought school supplies for kids in Africa. This is just my opinion, but material wealth could be thought of both good or bad; it just depends on how people choose to use it.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Milenda N. said...

I agree with Jaime because those T.V. shows that comes on MTV and the wealthy people in hollywood is a really good point about material wealth. It just shows you how materialistic our generarion has become.
I dont believe that money is always the root of all evil, but I do know that the love of money can lead to the root of all evil. When people start to put money first than anything then that is when they can do something evil with it. For example, like stealing someone else's money or robbing a bank for instance.
I also dont believe that your financial status is always a direct reflection of how successful you are. I think being successful can be many things. It's not always about how much you make. It's about loving what you do and who you are even though you don't get paid as much as other people, at least you enjoy every minute of what you do.
I definately think that we are always wanting more and more and more. It seems like our generation is always wanting new stuff like technologies, clothes, cars, purses, you name it. Do we ever know when or how to stop?
Yes, I do think that being content is enough but I dont think any of us will ever reach that point. It is only the rare individual that would be totally and absolutely content with their life. I mean how would you know if you are content with your life? And what does it have to take to be able to be fully content? As cliche as this may sound, I don't think that we will ever be content as long as we are living here on Earth. I think the only way that we can be content is when we go to heaven.

10:32 PM  
Blogger JamesE. said...

I see excess in wanting more than what they have. Everyone doesn't know what they have until it's gone. Everyone looks at the stuff they don't have rather than the stuff they do have. Material wealth is the desire for things not had and wanted. Many people say that money is the root of all evil, i believe that this is true but not in the way that you might think. In order to achieve material wealth, money, one must go down that road to get the money. If you are just sitting on your couch eating lays (TM) potato chips you aren't going to make money. If you want to make money you have to sacrifice things in order to make it. It is never easy to multi-task when you drive and it is the same way when you live your life. If you focus on making money you are less likely to focus on other things. When you focus on making money you often focus on how much money you can make, and you become greedy, and sooner of later that greed turns into other things which are worse and that is why money can be evil.

7:36 AM  
Blogger jjuneau2 said...

Material wealth is just a mask for those who don’t fully appreciate love and life to hide behind. A face if you will that they put on because they only know how to measure happiness in material possessions, so they seem like they have it all but in all actuality they don’t. As for money equaling success I couldn’t agree more with Lauren. Money doesn’t have anything to do with success. You could be a trash collector barley making a living but come home to a loving family who loves you and you deeply love back. And you love what you do for a living you love to collect trash and I would consider that person to be successful. One they have a loving family two they are happy doing what they do. Is it worth it to make lots of money but be completely miserable in doing so? No not at all. And Lauren makes another great point is asking if people look at Rose Parks and say that because she didn’t have any money she wasn’t successful. Success isn’t determined by how much you make but how you choose to make it.
Money is not the root of all evil. Money, no matter how much I don’t like the idea of this is what makes the world go round. Seriously can you think of one thing that doesn’t require money in some way or another? Life requires money no matter how sad it may be it does. I don’t think money is the root of all evil much less evil. Money isn’t evil the people who hold it are. That doesn’t mean that anyone why picks up a penny is considered evil it simply means that money is an inanimate object and can’t change a person for better or for worse. Today’s society, people’s morals, and how they are raised determine how the person will act and determine their use of money. A simple sheet of paper cannot change that.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Eddie W. said...

I personally do believe money is the root of all evil. Without money, we won't be able to survive. It is sad to admit how a peice of paper can control your lifestyle so drastically. Money makes people do inhumane actions as stealing and robbing people. Makes people work the black market knowing how much money is available.
In order for me to answer the question about financial status reflecting how successfull you are, you have to give us a definitive definition of success. My definition of success is pushing yourself to a step you never thought you would reach. So by using that definition, your fanancial status means jack squat to how successful you are. Unfortunally, society has a definition of success correlating to how much money you make. The more money you make the more you are worth. Each definition of success has it's time and place. There are two categories success falls into. External Success and Internal Success. External success is given by money, inheritance, reputation. On the other hand, Internal Success is achieved by love, family, care, friends. So what defintion of success are you giving us?
Generally, people are always wanting more. More money, more knowledge, more more more. People have to be careful; one might sacrifice happyness by waiting for more. One can spend their whole life waiting for better not knowing the risk they're taking by not appreciating what they already have. You will never be happy if you never settle. Yes, there will always be someone better, something better.

Perfection is boring. Flaws are what make life interesting and worth while.

6:50 PM  
Blogger DerrikO said...

I think that material wealth is measured by the luxuries we see today. Nice cars, big houses, fancy stuff. Things that everyone has, just others are nicer than others. Material wealth is having the same stuff just a lot nicer. I think we see an excess in material wealth mostly in entertainment. People have to have the nicest TV, sound system, game system, and cars. Everyone wants to have to most high tech stuff. I agree with matt in the fact that money isn't the root of evil. Greed that people acquire from money can take that title. If people weren't greedy, money wouldn't be an issue. I also agree with matt that money has nothing to do with how successful you are. The only person who can truly decide if you're successful is you. If you're doing what you want and consider it a success then it is. Oh ya, everybody wants more! No one can say that they don't "want" anything. People always wish for things even though they may not every get them. So people may be happy with where they're at, but that doesn't mean they don't want more. I believe if you're happy then that is all you need, so people might need more to be happy but if you're happy then I think that’s all that matters

6:54 PM  
Blogger kelcey r. said...

I think that material wealth is a lot more important to people now than it was in the past. Many kids think that they need a BMW or really nice car to be happy when a mini van can get you to the same places. We see an excess of material wealth almost everywhere we look, in America at least. Material possessions are all over schools, in the mall, and advertised on TV, radio, and on the internet. It can be hard to escape the temptations of materials that we "need right now!" but I think that one can be content with out many possessions, they make life easier but they are not necessary. I believe that money can bring out evil in people but I don’t think that money is the root of all evil. Money effects people differently, some people do well with the money that they make and donate or help others and some become greedy, selfish, and fake. I disagree that financial status reflects success because to me success is measured by what I have accomplished; have I been a good person and helped others? Have I been a good friend or family member? Have I tried my hardest in all areas of my life? Those things paint a much better picture than money ever could. It is in human nature to want more or to envy what others have, but the desire can be controlled and some people lose sight of reality when it comes to money and nice things. I am not saying that money isn't helpful and it can bring happiness to a starving single mother trying to feed her family, but I don't think that it is the most important thing in a person’s life. I think that if I am content with what I have then I will be happy instead of saying I want more money I hopefully will be able to see what I do have as a blessing.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Charlie H said...

The perceptions of material wealth is very widespread. Some people have a regular TV with basic cable and feel that they have a great setup. While other people have a huge big screen HDTV with all the movie channels and they feel that they have a great setup. I feel that whatever you have, whether its no TV to a big TV, if you can afford it and you enjoy it, then it works. We see excess today everywhere you look, I feel that if you have an HDTV then you have too much, because there are some people who can't even afford a black and white TV. I agree with Matt and Derrik on how money isn't the root of all evil because without it we would be nowhere. Whether you have a lot of money or no money, if you are happy with yourself then you are successful. One thing, though, is that if you are a millionaire I feel you are a little more successful than someone who doesn't make that much just because of the amount of money being made and the things you can do with it. Which can also lead to us wanting more, which is a problem, because we really don't need all the things we have, I think that being content is enough.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Kristie W said...

Material wealth is wanting something that everyone has. People are always trying to impress others, if your neighbor has an iPod well then you have to have the iPod nano or two iPods, but you don't really know why. I believe that people are busy trying to impress other people with all their matieralist gagets and items because your financial status is a direct reflection of how successful you are. As sad as that sounds, in this world money will always be a major factor in life. It is something I am definately not fond of because judging people just by what they have is horrible. It shouldn't even matter.
I would have to agree with Jade's agrument that money is not the root of all evil, just the people that hold that money. People suddenly think that when they have a lot of money, they have a lot of power over the people who are less fortunate. They believe that they are more successful in life, but really it isn't always the case. Successfullness is not based off how much money you have, it is based off of how much you enjoy your life. The people who are always wanting more are clearly not content with what they have. I believe that being content is not wanting anything more than what you have. As long as that is enough for you.

8:28 PM  
Blogger tuckerk2 said...

Looking outward in towards our society, I have found that it has become part of human nature to judge how successful a person is by looking at their material possessions. Though I do not believe in this myself, I see it all around me and have found myself thinking in the same way. I am entirely sure that everyone has been jealous of another because they have a nicer car, a larger house or an extravagant vacation home in Vail and places of the sort. However, I do not believe that these possessions justify success, but rather quite the opposite. As I have mentioned in my pervious post, I consider success to be truly and soulfully happy with where you are at in your life. These people who buy all of these superfluous material possessions have not yet found this happiness and attempt to achieve this by buying such things and often, as Emily said, it is merely a competition between those of similar wealth’s to have the nicest things. Many people have stated that their goal in life they wish to achieve is to become wealthy, and so could argue that these people are successful in the fact that they achieved their goal and though I can not entirely disagree with this perspective, I still consider they have another step to ascend as they have not yet found happiness with the possessions they have. I disagree with Kelly in that I do not find money to be the root of all evil. I believe that those who do the bad things in order to get money would have been bad either way and just vented this flaw into their underhanded maneuvers to gain money. This is justified in the people who have made money in just and fair ways and continue to use this money to help others through charity. Finally, I have found that many people settle for being content and give up their aspirations due to their fear that they may lose what they have achieved. Assuming they are meeting all of their needs, this is not necessarily wrong but I believe giving up your dreams entirely, takes away what makes life worth living.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Sarah E. said...

Whenever IU think of someone who is rich I automatically think of them being stuck up and wanting to show off what they have to prove their wealth. There can be such an extreme. And at the other end there are some wealthy people who are modest and humble to the point of almost not knowing their rich. But at the same time with being rich you kind of need that cockiness. To be able to deal with your wealth smartly ya know?!

Before there was a dependence on money life was simpler and more care dree. Now in our lifestyles our society is based on money and how you use it. I honestly dont think that where your financial status depicts who you are but it definatly effects you no matter what you do. I takes a strong person to go against the flow or what is "expecteed". thats when you really find someone who knows what he or she is doing.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Alex S said...

I view material wealth as how much a has. Nice cars, fancy houses, that general thing. Today we see the biggest excess in entertainment. Actors and Proffessional athletes make ignorant sums of money, yet complain if it's just a few million per deal. I don't think money is the root of all evil. Money is needed for almost everything we do and without it our society would not function. A barter system is not logical in modern day. Financial status has very little if nothing to do with how successful you are. Many people use it to show others their success but this doesn't mean they are successful. Success should be viewed in one person's own eyes not another's. Emily brought up a good point about shy people. Being one my self, who wishes I had a nice car, I can see how most conversation can be driven to material things when they don't want to talk about themselves personally. Most people always want more because that is how we are taught. To never be happy with what you have, and to always strive for more. Being content should be enough, and is for some people, however the masses, content is not enough.

7:01 AM  
Blogger BrianR said...

I liked Leigh's thought about how material wealth was only how many expensive things you are able to buy with your money. But I also think that we also give that perception to people who live in certain communities like the Preserve or Cherry Hills. Those people also probably have an excess of cash because almost all of the properties in that area are really nice and usually have a very expensive car in the driveway. I don't think that money is the root of all evil but I do think that it shows how people really are. Like in Africa war lords use money to buy guns and kill people if they didn't have the money fewer people would die. Although again in Africa if we didn't send money to countries that need food and aid then they would be worse off. I don't think your financial status has much to do with who you are because not every one who is rich is a snob or not everyone who is not as well off takes charity. It just shows who was able to get a break in life. Everyone always wants more because it is the American way. We are competitive and always have to try and be better then your neighbor who wants to be better then you so we will never be content it's just how our society is run whether it be with political, economical or neighborly rivals.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Kyle B. said...

I think money is important. I think that money rules the world, and that it controls the majority of the decisions that we make on a daily basis. Not only does money control the world, but it influences people on a grander scale than even those affected would like to agree. But the one downfall that I see in people around the world is that they don't need everything that they have. I am a personal example of that. I don't need an Ipod. I don't need a nice car. I don't need the computer with which I am typing this. I don't need new shoes every two months (and I don't buy new shoes every two months, I wear them till they fall off my feet). And I'm not going to blame society (Mrs. Comp, I realize you hate that word) for my desire to have more. I am going to recognize that I live a life in which I am able to indulge myself to a certain degree and I am not going to change that ideal until I hit a wall. I am also not saying that money brings happiness. This past weekend, I was working with my youth group at my church until early in the morning. At around 12am, I had the opportunity to spend a car ride with a homeless person who our youth leader believed needed a warm place to stay. He had left his dead end in Florida, hopped a bus to Denver looking for work, ad felt he was free of the bonds that had previously tied him down. He no longer had any money, and he told me felt felt all the better for it. I think money it a ticket into the future, but it is the way it is used and how it is seen in the eye of its beholder that remains the key to prevent money from being our downfall.

7:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home