Monday, March 30, 2009

Money, Money, Money

Please answer the follwing prompts in a detailed, fluent response. Make sure to comment on other people's views within your own response. Take your level of thinking higher.

What are your perceptions of material wealth? What is "wealth"? Do we see too much excess today? If your financial status a reflection of how successful you are? Are we always wanting more? Do we "want" too much? Is being content or fulfilled enough? When is enough enough?

25 comments:

Tabitha M said...

I think anyone can find happiness through material. But then there is the barrier between being happy for what you have and wanting the best and as much as you can get. There are 2 types of weath I see. First, the average idea of wealth being your income and ascets. Then there's this imaginery wealth created in our minds and surroundings that represents the physical/emotional condition we are in also showing our happiness in what we have accomplished. Alot of people live there lives around money and the accessories they can get to show their wealth to create a mirror of happiness. My financial status is nonexistant. I have yet 25cents to my name(and i found it in the dryer). My success is still in the making, but I have succeeded many things without money granted that all my success was from free experiences or the financing of my mother. I know I want to be more successful and their is no limit to the amount of success I can obtain, and I see no reason why anyone else would want less. We do want an extreme amount, but we will never receive the full amount so we make options and decided what is obtainable. Being fulfilled with yourself and knowing you did a great job on doing anything is enough. Knowing that you gave 100% is enough. I believe a fully content person can acheive the feeling of "enough".

Tyler M said...

I think you can find happiness through material wealth. But there is a border being truely happy and just being greedly happy.To me wealth is valuable property or any other special material possessions. Alot of people today live their lives around money and the possessions that they get with money to show that fake happiness.My financial status is low. I have about 11 dollars that I found in my jean back pocket. I am still trying to make my success as I go on. But I have made many successful accoplishment without the power of money or the financing of my parents. Everybody in the world wants extreme amounts of money, but sometimes we won't receive that kind of cash so we make goals to what is obtainable to our standards of money. Being fullfilled with yourself and knowing you gave a 110% is more than enough.

Gracie G said...

haha Tabitha you make me laugh...

I feel material wealth only can bring a feeling of temporary happiness. I hate material wealth. Everyone always wants it and I don't think it is ever really enough, not only that but it completely changes how others act toward one another because of how much and how nice their materials are. People these days have too much, way more than they need. For example, Amy and I were driving around the other night in 'The Preserve' neighborhood looking at the houses and how ridiculously large they are, and estimating how many people actually live in the house. These people don't need an 8 bedroom house for one or two people. We drove past this one house that was so frickin' big! Not only was this house a mansion but it had a guest house that was larger than three of my houses combined! Now tell me is that really necessary?
I don't think your financial status is a reflection of how successful you are. Sure I guess you can be smart and make money, but I think success is how happy you really are when a goal is achieved. And I don't think people really know when they are content or fulfilled when we live in a society that all we know is "MORE!". We just don't know when we are full.

Lauren L said...

Everyone wants more materials. I feel like everything is about what kind of materials people have. Everyone wants to have the coolest car or the biggest house and I really don’t think that makes people happy. I mean when people get new things it might seem to make them happier but it only lasts so long until they aren’t happy and want some other material possession. I don’t think wealth is all about how much money you have or what expensive cars or houses people have, I think wealth is if you feel like you are successful in what you do and love doing it. People who hate their jobs and make a good income might be considered wealthy to many people, but are they really wealthy? Is it worth it to hate what you do but make a lot of money? I don’t think it is worth it at all. I would rather be happy and love what I do. Then I would consider myself wealthy in my own life. I don’t think financial status has anything to do with how successful people are. People can be successful in so many different things it doesn’t matter how much money you make. Our society today is always wanting more. Many people always want the newest technology or just anything new in general. I think society is starting to want more than is needed. For example, is it really necessary to have more than one car per person? I don’t think so but people want more than one a lot of the time. I just think society needs to get a grip on all this excessive buying on things that aren’t necessary at all. You can’t control what people do though and I don’t think people are going to stop wanting more.

casey o said...

Material wealth is all the physical materials that belong to you. This could be a house, car, clothes, food, glasses, anything. We all have some kind of material wealth while some have more. There is way to much material wealth in the world today. We see the rich with their Porche and Mercedes, their huge muli million dollar homes, perfect lifestyles, going on vacation all the time. This is the way it is, not the way it should be.
Your financial status is not a reflection of how successful you are. Look at people who win the lottery, they don’t have to do a thing for their wealth, so how does that make them successful. People are always wanting more, its natural. Whether new clothes, new cars, more money, bigger house, people always want to better themselves. Wanting can grow out of control, sometimes costing you time and money. Being content used to be enough, back in the old days, where people were living with nature, just having enough to get by, until technology took and our lives became easier and became wanters. If your life is centered around always wanting new and improved then that is enough. When we loose track of the meaning of life, it is enough.

LauraM said...

I believe that material wealth is something that people who can’t find true happiness use in an attempt to fill the void in their life. The definition of wealth in our society is based on how much “stuff” you own and can buy. If you have a big house, a fancy car, and designer clothes then our society labels you as wealthy. Monetary wealth has become a status symbol. However I believe that the true definition of wealth is when you are content with what life has given you because you know you are surrounded by people who love you and make you happy, and that is all you feel you need. I believe you could live in a cardboard box with not a dollar to your name, and still feel wealthy because of the positive things in your life. Today there is so much excess of material wealth it is ridiculous. I mean people are walking around with diamond encrusted teeth for goodness sake. They don’t need that. The excess money that people spend on frivolous status symbols that they do not need to live comfortably has been spinning out of control. I think this is so, because peoples mind set has changed from ‘should I?’ to ‘why not?’ Instead of thinking things through and asking themselves if they really need it, people are saying, well this looks cool and I have the cash, lets do it. Not realizing that they are dropping a bucket-load of money on something they probably won’t care about five years from now. I think that financial status and how successful you are have no correlation. I agree with Lauren in that I would not consider someone who makes a large income, but who is miserable at their job, to be wealthy. Money does not equal happiness. Wealth does not equal success. Happiness equals success. I think people always want more, because it is in their nature. People are naturally competitive, and strive for the next bigger better thing. I think this is alright, to strive for something, and to have goals, but the problem comes, when after attaining it, we think it is no longer good enough and want even more. After a certain point wanting more gets to be ridiculous. People focus too much on the next thing and don’t look back enough to realize how much they have already gained. I think if people did this they would realize what they have and say wow I am happy with this instead of always wanting more, and more, and more. I don’t think there is ever a point when you can say that you don’t have enough, because no matter what there will always be someone out there who has is worse off then you.

verrettaa said...

I agree with Grace in that I believe that material wealth can only bring you temporary happiness. I also believe that we do see too much excess today. Almost everyone who lives in our community has much more than is actually needed, such as cell phones and cars, and there are people who have even more than than us in other areas. I think that our excess is a result of us always wanting more. Everyone I know has at least some desire to get some new item that is better than what they already have. However, often the products that are new are not better than what we already possess. People view new things as better because new things are ‘popular’, and those who have new things are considered cooler, as Grace also said. In many cases, people can live happily with a content and fulfilled life, but when they see others who have more than they do, it causes them to want more, even though what they have is enough. The world in which we live makes it nearly impossible to ignore the things that are newer/cooler than what we already have. I think that because we are always wanting more, we do “want” too much. I also think that this trend is not likely to stop anytime soon, although I believe is has reached a point that is unreasonable in many situations.
I don’t think that financial statue is a reflection of how successful a person is, because the true definition of success is opinion. The world’s standard of success is making a lot of money, therefore having large wealth, but other may consider success just being able to support those they love. Personally, I think that success has to do with more than just money. I think that however you reach “success” is important as well as the money made. So basically, success to me means that you are happy with what you have done and you make enough money to live a comfortable life.

Nick Z said...

In a way material wealth can give you happiness. But there is a difference between price value and sentimental value.

You could go and buy a huge house and put all the most expensive furniture in it, and get thirteen different kinds of microwaves, and a huge Tv in every room, and a nice car, and a huge pool in the backyard which is also huge. Every day you make more money as an oil company manager. You also like to buy random plane tickets just so you can order new things from Sky Mall. Every night you go to olive garden and order that same thing. you can come home and stare at your beautiful house that reflects your success.

or

You could travel the world, meet new people, sleep in a park, make some music, get in a fight, travel in the back of a train, go dumpster diving, learn to make a fire from scratch and catch a fish with your hands. You could be able to look in a mirror and know that the only thing that reflects your success is yourself.

Material wealth is just more stuff you put in front of the mirror, and you can get lost in it.

Trent W. said...

Material wealth i think is what really starts to hinder our relationships with people. Think about when you were kids, innocent but i believe it began to change when you got what you wanted or just toys and that sort of stuff. Not that is bad, but the point is about it starts to effect other people including yourself. When you get greedy or nasty. But really material wealth is just all a bunch of junk, the more you have in quantity or quality depicts a person and wealthy, wealthier or wealthiest. typically with money, the more the merrier so to speak.
Wealth i think can be divided in to at least three categories. Material wealth, joy, and knowledge. You can be filled with great joy, have lot of money, or be very wise and filled with knowledge.
If financial status is a reflection of how successful you are, then the tables have turned. It's not always that way. I'm thinking of the economy; it happened because of some greedy people, and sometimes just those who couldn't make the payments. Well with the greedy, they lost their houses, and some jobs or their own monetary success led to their demise. (by the way I'm not blaming all people as we have seen the greedy side of people during this time.) So sometimes you can just lose it all. So i do not think success is reflected of monetary status. Some people can just be more humble than others about it.
When i think of the way to live with wealth is like Job, of the Bible. Granted he lost everything as he was in his prime at that time. Struck down and all, but God raised him up, twice. And his material wealth came back even larger. This showed his wealth did not conflict his relationship with his friends, family, or even God. If you can get enough to where you are still able to live in a humble giving way, then all the more power to you. It is possible that the money or wealth keeps growing.

Maria A. said...

Material wealth can be a good thing, but not the most important. You can be smart wealthy by buying what you really need and once in a while get what you want, but not all the time. Needs and wants are quite different. If you are extremely wealthy, why not get the nicest of your needs?! ;). Wealth is a dealt with success. Being very successful brings you wealth and if you are smart with your money, more wealth is to come. Being smart and always checking up on all your finances, brings more success on wealth. Most people do always want more, but some of us don't necessarily need more. If you feel happy, you don't need to give up on being wealthy, stick with it, but don't become needy either.

kaylab said...

I think that material wealth just gives people the idea that they are happy, but it is really a false happiness. I feel that true happiness is not brought to us by the materials we possess, but rather the people we surround ourselves with and the experiences we enjoy with them. I think that material wealth definatly makes our life a lot more enjoyable and a lot simpler, but I think we rely too much on it and base our judgements of other people on it. I feel that wealth is the money that you possess but along with all the possesions that you have bought in your lifetime like a house, car, electronics, etc. I do think that we see too much excess wealth today because there are so many people who blow all their money on unnecessary things that are overpriced and unneeded. Your financial status is not necessarily a reflection of how successful you are because people begin their lives in so many different situations and some people are given what they want but others have to work very hard to get it. I do think we do always want more because we always want things that are bigger and better than what we already have and we never settle for less than what we think we deserve. I think there are many people in this world who do want too much but not every person can get the money to get everything they desire. I think having dreams and desires in life help people work harder to get the things that they want. I think that everyone is striving for complete happiness but I don't think that such a thing exists. Some people settle for being content, but others sometimes go overboard in trying to find happiness. I think enough is enough when you are surrounded with nice things that you never use or you really do not need. It is nice to have nice things but sometimes too much can just be annoying and be too overwhelming.

Chelsea R. said...

I agree with grace and veratta that material wealth can bring you temporary happiness. I believe to be truely happy you have to do what you love. When it comes to a job, it doesn't matter how much money you make or how successful you are just as long as you are doing what you love. Wealth is when you have an excessive amount of money that you dont really need. In our economy today we dont see as much wealth as we have in the past.
It is human nature to always want more. If you really think about, most of the stuff we spend our money on isn't on stuff we actually need, it is on things that we just want or would like to have. We don't really know when enough is enough. We overendulge ourselves a lot more then we may realize.

Kelsey W said...

Having material wealth can bring happiness but that happiness will fade with the materials that you have. When you were a kid you would always "need" that one toy that everyone has, but by the time you finally get it you want another one. It brought you happiness for the first day or two, but after that it just sits and collects dust. To me wealth is happiness. Happiness is the most important thing to me. With out my friends and family I would not be happy. When most people hear the word wealth they think about money, but I usually have the urge to roll my eyes. I try not too, but there are some people that do see too much excess. Those people tend to get on my nerves very easily. In a way, your financial status is a reflection of how successful you are. To some people that is how they get that feeling of success. There is nothing wrong with this. I think that being successful is different for each person and depends on what their goals are for their lives. We are always wanting more, whether it is more material things, more attention, more love or more happiness. In our lives we never stop wanting more. When it comes to materialist things, I do believe that we want too much. I also believe that wanting stuff is different then buying the unnecessary things we want. When you buy everything you want, you will just keep wanting more and more and so wanting things turns into "needing" things. I have and will always believe that being content and fulfilled is not enough, you need happiness as well. They may bring you happiness, but for some it doesn't. If a person ever gets to the point of "Enough is enough" they are out of control and need to change. I wouldn't know when enough is enough because I have never been there, and I hope I never get there.

HannaR said...

Again, yes; people are obsessed with money. It is extremely annoying. When I grow up I want to live in the mountians away from all material things. That is not what makes ME happy personally. I believe we do jugde people on how wealthy they are, and I do not think that is nessesary at all. Like Tab said, Anyone can find happiness through material if they let themselves. Happiness is happiness. Everyone has their own way of fofilling it. No matter how hard we try to, we will never be completely satisfied. The human being has an instinct to always look for the better and to never settle for less. It is in our blood.

rachel b said...

I think that material wealth is shallow and can never completely fufil a person. They may think that the things they can buy will make them happy, but that isn't true. Wealth is measured buy how much money a person has. Wealth is hugely important in our society, because wealth equals success. If you don't make enough money according to society, you are not important and essentially you are a failure. Of course, in a world like this our views are changed. We never think anything is enough and we will always be left unsatisfied. I think we are asking for too much. When there are people who live in third world countires who are happy with a piece of bread, we should not be unsatisfied with less than a 3 course meal. We need to realize that we are blessed already and we should stop being so selfish.
Enough will never be enough. We have the iPhone, but somehow its not good enough for us and we want more. We will never be fully content as a society.

LiaWH said...

Material wealth, when you have a bunch of things, objects. It depends; you could be wealthy in a sense that you have a lot of money. You could have material wealth and have a bunch of things including money. Socially wealthy, where you just have lots a friends. You could be mentally and spiritually wealthy, where you just have an abundance of joy. I agree with Verretta, currently in this country there are more cars owned then licensed drivers. Why do we need all this stuff? What can we gain from it, do we gain anything from it? If we aren’t gaining long term happiness from it, then when do we stop, do we ever stop having excess things? Yes, I believe we always crave the next thing. But our wanting leads us to great places sometimes. The world is pretty greedy, I think we should stop to smell the roses and appreciate what is with us. My mom and I got into an argument and basically I made a commitment that I wouldn’t go shopping for an extending amount of time. And during this time I found so many clothes that I had forgotten about. I tried to be more creative for creating an outfit, so it wouldn’t be the same clothes over and over. It really gave me time to appreciate all the things I do have. It made me focus on what I need not what I want. I think we do want too much. We should focus all that want and change it into helping others with things they need. When I think of the word content, I think temporarily satisfied. I don’t think being content is enough, I want more than that. Because I want the best, I’ve grown up in a society where I am told I can have anything, I can do anything. So in turn my want will motivate me to do things. Does human nature allow us to stop wanting? What would happen if we became satisfied? Can we ever be truly and completely satisfied?

Joyce B. said...

I think material wealth is dangerous because it’s too easy to get sucked in. Once you get what you want then you suddenly want something more and better. Wealth is usually defined by the amount of money or material possessions someone has, but I believe wealth should be defined by the happiness and fulfillment someone feels they have in their life. I believe there is way too much excess in American today. For example my neighbors have 5 cars and only two licensed drivers currently. Is it really necessary to have so many options for what you drive to and from work? A persons financial status certainly is a reflection of how economically successful they are, but what is more important being successful in the business place or having success in enjoying your life and living to the fullest? People have become too wrapped up in all their material possessions. Happiness in a way has become out dated. People just want more, more, more; money, phones, cars, video games and so much more. I think most people do want too much, you’re not cool if you don’t wear expensive clothes and drive expensive cars. I wish that being content and fulfilled was enough, but I think for most it’s not. I think America has already past the point of enough, unfortunately I’m guessing people won’t stop until something drastic happens to really show how bad it’s gotten. Money, money, money; as sad as it may be I think it has become the primary concern for most Americans.

Gereon H. said...

Material wealth can be desirable but mostly social values come first. Material wealth is mostly everything what can be compared or represented with money. Many people have material wealth as a goal to be on a high level in society, but also many people want to have more and more money till they can't even use it anymore. But those people are successful, but just in a material way.
But you also always need more challenges in your life to keep it running and to keep it 'alive'. And there is no limit for material wealth so the goal can always move higher and higher. Being absolutely content doesn't make any sense to me because then you indirectly say that you got to your goal and that you don't want to aim higher and that there is the end of any kind of actions in your life. And this means to me that a person like this wouldn't care about living and dying.
Sometimes people say that it's enough but then it just means it in one category and then you have to change to another category. E.g.: Hard working people retire and mostly spend more time in settling down.
The today society doesn't work without material wealth, we need to get money and more is normally better. You have more opportunities to change your life-style and so you also get more opportunities to get happy.

Strahan K said...

Wealth, to me, has two different deffinitions, the first is the common one which means having a lot of money. But then there is another meaning which is being happy. People who do what makes them happy or have something or someone that makes them truly happy then they could be considered wealthy. I don't think financial status determines how successful a person is. What determines success is weather or not you are considered good at what it is a person does. If Russel is a mechanic, for example, and other people are saying "Hey if you got problems with your car you have to go see Russel. He can fix any car problem like its nothing" then russel is a successful mechanic. I think that wanting is all apart of human nature. If people didnt want things then nobody would go out and do anything. If nobody wanted to be good at football nobody would play it. If people didnt want to be doctors then there would be no cures for our diseases. Wanting things makes the world go round, want is a good thing. I think that enough is enough when you have done everything you set out to do in life. If you have acomplished everything have ever wanted to do and got everything you want then maybe that is enough, but not to many people can say that they have done everything they wanted to do in life.

AmyW said...

"The things you own end up owning you" - Fight Club
People in todays soceity are constantly buying, constanly looking for things that are said to make like "a little more easy" or make them complete. Sure a fancy new ipod make make a few people happy for awhile or a fancy car to drive around may make someone feel a little better about themselves well thats a great but what about at night or when it really come down to it? NONE of those things make a difference its all substance it doesnt make anoyone happier or more complete.
I think the reason most people are constanly wanting more because their looking for something to fill some void or make them "content" but never quite find, sure they could be satisfied with their fancy beemer or giant mansion but theres always something more. And pretty soon they define themselves based on the things they have. I personally dont think financial status has and thing to do with success sure you worked hard for what you have but whose to say a CEO is more successful than a volunteer out helping countless people everyday? I mean isnt that a more rewarding and at times more difficult job?
Society is so caught up the the idea of a good life being one with a nice house nice car and nice materials but why? why dont we a good life as a life well live and experienced, one where we are able to reach out and break the mold? I dont if im making much sense.. but i think if people forgot about those $500 dollar jeans a fancy cars and mansions we'd find time for self full fillment and time for other and to focus on something real.
I'm not saying im any different than those who want nice things, of course i want more that human nature, we arent satisfied because we dont know any other way thinking ot any way of trying to be satisfied. WAnting more isnt always bad, wanting better things helps improve lives for ourselves and for others but theres a point where wanting more crosses the line.

Tiffany F. said...

My perceptions of material wealth are that it is a short time of happiness but that happiness will go shortly away making you want more material possessions, then it turns into greed. I can think of the time when I had the iPod g1 and I just had to get the new iPod g3 at the time I thought it was amazing and so neat, but once you have it for awhile it just becomes that old iPod not that iPod I just had to have it loses its wealth. Material wealth is common in the richer class but it can happen to anyone poor or rich. Wealth is the joy and love of your family and friends that is around you and me everyday of our lives. Wealth is also being alive and healthy to live the life God created for us. Yes, we see too much excess today by the products companies put out to attract consumers in a harsh economy. We people buy the products and hope it will make us feel better but yet in only makes us go in debt and broke thus making us feel worse and not very happy at all! No, because I am not in a financial situation with a job making money to reflect my success. Right now I am an A student and I don’t have large amount of money but I consider myself successful in school, and other areas of life. Yes, we always want more and more once we have what we wanted, we want something else. I guess you could say we always want what we don’t have. We need to be thankful for what we have and not for what we don’t have. Yes, we want to much; look at others for example: my family lives in a medium sized home but we would love to live in a bigger home but I am sure there are families wanting what we have. But you can be happy any where it is how you handle the situation by either being positive or negative about it. But it is also good to want to have a desire to advance maybe not materialistic though. Yes being content is enough when you know what you can have in life, you don’t want to over indulge in more than your lifestyle can handle, know your limits. It is also great to aspire beyond what you already have by advancing you career or education for example. Enough is enough when you become greedy and materialistic things rule you and control who you are as a person (where you cannot be with out them). I agree with Laura that money does not equal happiness; no matter how much money you have it will not make you happy. What matters is how you are as a person to other and how you are to yourself, just live a truthful life. It is all in how you handle the situation make something bad good.

Roy C said...

Material wealth is possessions or objects. wealth is something like status, success, or profit capabilities. If excess is showing that people need money or stuff then yes. In some ways yes and in some ways no. Yes and no. There those who want more and those who are content. There are those who do want to much. Being content with what one has is enough. There is a point, but whe one is content.

mcohn said...

i think wealth is the process of making profit rather than how much money you have. i also dont think that our financial status reflects how successful you really are. you might not have that much money and might not have a lot of stuff but you might be loving life how it is. i think when people stop worrying about how much money they have and focus on life and family.

Victoria Z said...

I don't think material wealth is something that will bring happiness. To be honest, I don't think wealth in general can bring people happiness. When you gain money you just continue to want more and more. In my eyes it brings out an evil side of you, a greedy side. It will start small, maybe you dream of having a brand new Audi, then you think "well maybe I need a new house too..", it just creates this want that in my mind isn't healthy. You should want to be happy with the influences in your life, not the amount of cash in your pocket. In my eyes I think enough is when you can pay all your bills and still enjoy a few fun things on the side like maybe taking a vacation every once in a while or going for a weekend trip to the mountains. It isn't my place to judge how other people feel about where "enough" is but that to me is enough, living comfortably and happy.

AndrewA said...

I believe material wealth doesn't reflect anything other than how much a person wants to be happy. If someone has a lot of nice things it doesn't mean they have a good social, mental or even family life. True wealth is having a loving and supporting family, being in prime physical condition, and having the urge to question or even evaluate things going on around us. There is way too much excess today because everyone wants money to be happy and then once they have that, they want to buy miscellaneous objects to keep them temporarily satisfied. Humans want far too much. Once we achieve what we're aspiring for, there is always going to be something else we want that we don't have. The only way to be happy with what we have is to learn to suppress our wants and accept the fact that we don't NEED some things. It is always alright to want more as long as you're willing to accept the possibility of not getting whatever it is you might want.