Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Money, Money, Money

Please answer the following 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. Make sure you are being thorough and honest.
What are your perceptions of material wealth/money? What is "wealth"? Do we see too much excess today? If your financial status a reflection of how successful you are? What is success to you? Are we always wanting more? Do we "want" too much? Is being content or fulfilled enough? When is enough, enough?


  1. Wealth is thought of as people who have many material goods, a good sized house, and someone who has the opportunity to travel and do many different things. My perceptions of material goods are mostly things that are unneeded. Fancy computers, cell phones, nice furniture, none of it needed. Most material goods are all things that we WANT. I don't think your financial status is necessarily a reflection of how successful you are because sometimes, you can gain wealth through luck. Or choosing a career that pays well. But being successful in life is not necessarily the same thing as being successful in a job. Success to me is living a life of happiness. As long as you are happy with what you have in life and what you are doing and who you are with, you are a success. Society tends to always want more when they see new products (technology, clothing, etc.) As much as we try to avoid it, I do not think it's something we can help. I think that we do want too much but the society we grew up in does not focus on the needs but more on the wants. All commercials tend to state that we "need" this new phone or we "need" this new car. I think being content can be enough, as long as you are happy with the life you lead. I think enough is enough when you have all the necessities but I do not think anyone will stop there if they have the opportunity to go more.

  2. Material wealth and money seem to run society today. People are overtaken by the goal of wanting more money. I even find myself always wanting new clothes or shoes and thinking "If I just had that one thing I would be happy" when in reality I know that having the newest shoes won't actually make me any happier.

    To me wealth is measured by happiness. If you are happy with your life then you are wealthy. However, how do we measure successful lives? Are people truly happy if that have a lot of money? I personally think the people and substance of my life is more important. If I am surrounded by loving friends and family and I am doing things I love then I believe that makes me wealthy.

    I think today, especially in th US, people have far too much and are always wanting more. We seem to believe that if we have a lot of money then we are successful and wealthy. I think we need to learn to be more content with what we have. As I said yesterday with happiness- I believe we need to be happy with what we have and choose to enjoy what's around us.

    I think the more we want and are greedy for things then the less happy we will be. True wealth, success and happiness will come when we decide that what we have is enough. Its all about perception- if you believe you are happy and successful then you are.

  3. My perceptions of material wealth/money are complicated. A society is simply not able to function without money. However, the emphasis that Americans place on wealth is appalling. Today, success is commonly based on how much money a person has instead of how many grandchildren they have. Wealth is the blessings that surround us like family and friends, but ask any Gatsby and he would say money and material wealth. There is a great excess of the lack of morals that seem to accompany the friendship between sin and a man obsessed with money. There is an excess of material goods that may seem all-important, although I know that I used my family’s new Kinect the first day we got it and have not laid eyes upon it since. Success should be attributed to the milestones passed in life, like having children, not money. Money is important to grant children with the basics for life, but when teens demand a car instead of taking a bus, excess accumulates. I question myself: “Why can’t I just be happy with the blessings I have been given?” And yet, always wanting more is a part of human nature; it helps us relate to peers and gives more opportunities for success and greater wealth. However, if I had more money, I can’t think of anything I would use it for that would benefit not only me, but the lives of others. Sure, a car or extra money for college would be nice. But in the end, I can live without these things and they do not benefit those around me, and I know that enough is enough. I also agree with Lauren; given the opportunity, we will always go for more. Recognizing when enough is enough may be the first step, but acting on this realization is another issue. How come we keep pushing for more, even when we recognize that we are content?

  4. Money makes the world go 'round as the saying goes, and as much as I would like to see a world without it, it seems to be the way things are. For an average Arapahoe student money is not a problem therefore we tend to treat as one. What I mean by that is, we talk about how we would all be better off without money, how greed is horrible and wealth can lead to unhappiness. Yet i reiterate the fact that most of us have enough money, even some to spare, leading us to judge those with billions or those without pennies? I think not. We take for granted the lack of responsibility when is comes to our wealth. We as mostly white mostly middle class Americans make noble sentiments about how focus on money does more harm than good, how its a bad thing. However, most of us can afford to eat chipotle once a week. Imagine coming from a place where nothing mattered but the money to get your next meal, the most we are worried about money wise is whether we can afford the more expensive college. I personally believe success is when you are in a position to enjoy your life, not measured by any particular amount of love or money. I agree with maria's statement that money makes the world turn, we simply cannot live a "modern" life without money. My main question is, how can we judge, for good or bad, based on money when that situation is not exactly the same as ours?

  5. My world lives, dies and does everything in between because of money. That is just the plain truth. The things that make me happy may not be materialistic but the things I do love are there because of money. Hiking trails are present because there was funding to create them. Ski slopes are hundreds of dollars to access and many of my best relationships are created from a Catholic school my parents paid thousands in tuition to send me to. People are always worried about how money is taking over lives, but quite frankly it has been for years and years. Since the idea of currency was created it has become an influential aspect of our everyday life. We can be less materialistic and less worrying over the things we have, but one will never truly have a freedom of money. It controls almost every aspect of our lives.
    Just as happiness is personal so is success. If one wanted to become a mother with four children and a loving husband and she achieves this- success. If one wants to be the ceo of a major corporations and ultimately they are-success. If I do what I want to do then I am successful. Money or love does not measure success. The measure of success is personal and unique to each person.
    Being content or fulfilled is good enough if one makes it so. Going off what Jack said, if you come from a penniless family having a meal and sleeping under a roof would be more than fulfilling, but to an average student at Arapahoe is that fulfilling enough? Probably not. We want more. Why is that wrong? We want to better ourselves and create more out of the opportunities that we have. Being content is great, but we should want to be more that, this may include money or be the exact opposite. One should never be fulfilled saying they are content.

  6. In my opinion wealth and money are an important part of our daily lives. In modern America, the world runs on money. Almost every day we contribute to this by buying some material that we think we need, whether it is being spent on a Frappuccino at Starbucks or clothes from Target, money influences how we live. I also think that how we use our money and wealth largely dictates how others see us, therefore; in our society today, the more money the better.
    Wealth can be measured in many different ways. In the materialistic world, wealth is measured by the amount of items you own or money you make at your job. However, in a more idealistic world, wealth can be measured by the abundance of other things, such as love, health, or joy in your life. One does not simply have to have a high pay check in order to be “wealthy.”
    In America today, I think that we are disgustingly wealthy. People are constantly obsessing over the newest IPhone, designer bag, or car that they just have to have. Compared to other people in the world, things are handed to us, and I don’t think we have a full appreciation for how incredibly wonderful this is. When you walk into a store, the abundance of material goods is overwhelming, especially when you think about other parts in the world where people barley have enough materials to live. But although we have this abundance in wealth and material goods, we keep looking for more.I think that as humans it’s hard for us to make the decision when enough is enough. When there are so many amazing inventions and items being created around us, we can’t help to be curious and greedy. Also, I think that when we aren’t happy with our lives, we are constantly looking for fillers in order to fill that feeling of not being content. However, once true happiness and fulfillment is achieved, I believe that this need to fill that void can disappear. Ultimately, I think that wealth all comes down to doing things that make you happy. I don’t think your financial status is a reflection of how successful you are. I think that although success can be measured by wealth, it can also be measured by your accomplishments in life. A person could study really hard in medical school to accomplish their dream of being a doctor and this could easily result in financial wealth. However, at the same time, a rock climber could conquer a large cliff and also accomplish their dream, but obtain no financial wealth. In both cases, the person accomplished something that they are proud of and they were each successful in their own way. I think that it’s great if financial wealth comes along with accomplishing your personal goals, however I don’t think it should define how successful you are in life.

  7. Wealth is based on the amount of money you have. If you are wealthy you have a lot of money. Money is money; it’s neither good nor bad. It’s often hard to live with and manage, but in this world money is vital. However, I always think that you don’t necessarily need money, and if you truly want to live without it, you could go live in the mountains and hunt animals and eat wild edibles like our ancestors. Do I see too much excess? Excess of what? Puppies? Well not really, as I don’t see a lot of puppies, just dogs, so I can’t really say. Babies? Well I do see a lot of babies today, too many, as population is increasing at a rapid rate. Wealth? Ummm well based on our economy and other economies there clearly isn’t enough wealth. There’s not much excess that is “too much” except maybe… well I guess if you have like 4 iphones that might be considered too much, but you bought them so you deserve them. Now that I think about it, I think there is an excess of too much corn. We use corn for so many things now, corn syrup, feed for cows and such, ethanol; the list goes on and on. And I think there’s an excess in cows. The methane they produce is slowly harming the environment. So based on this list, there really isn’t too much excess of a lot of things. Yes, finances are a measure of success. You can’t deny it that most people consider the amount of money a person makes dictates ones perception of success. But it’s just one measure of success and I think there are many more important measures like happiness (so cliché). In previous times, how heavy you were was considered success because you could eat and buy more food. So I think people’s perception of success are constantly changing and can’t really be decided. However, I think success is just living under shelter with food and water with a positive outlook on life. If you’re depressed and not hopeful yet you live in a mansion, then you are not successful. As long as these things are met, I think a person is pretty successful. Yet now that I am writing this, I don’t think I have a definition of success. I think I’m successful right now, but I can’t really pinpoint why. We are always wanting more, as that is human nature. I don’t think we want too much though. Having goals in life are wants. Wanting a job that makes more money is a want. If we didn’t want anything then we would still be living as hunter gatherers. I don’t think you can ever want too much, but you can easily have too much by fulfilling all these wants. You can never be fulfilled or content because once you reach your supposed fulfillment, you’ll want more. Therefore enough doesn’t really exist, so enough is never enough.

  8. "Money is like manure. If you spread it around it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in one place it stinks like heck."
    Money is a necessity in modern day society. Nothing is ever free. I just had a 'free' Shawarma yesterday, but was it really free? No no no, it cost me personally $40 dollars to acquire and Shawarma Mediterranean Grill some amount to make it. Physically making money even costs money. Wealth is just another superficial way to judge another fellow human being. We live in an extremely judgmental society and having wealth is just another component of it. There is an excess of wealth today.
    Bill Gates. He has $59,000,000,000 (59 billion) dollars. One man has $59 billion dollars. There is now 7 billion of us on this planet known as Earth so Bill Gates has over 8 times the amount of George Washingtons as there are actual human beings.
    One's financial status is in a way a reflection of who they are. However, it can also define who they are. Success as defined by the dictionary is 'the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.' The very first example is the attainment of wealth. That is how society today defines success. By the amount of paper in your wallet. True success is not all about money though. Some people will define their success with money and will most likely regret it in their later days.
    Enough is enough when one day at 3:00am in the morning you realize that your counting your hundred dollar bills with a full grown beard, hunching over your stockpile with blood shot eyes. Competition and ambition are very healthy things in my mind. Challenges to get that promotion or get some extra cash don't have any harm. Until it consumes you. When someone is at the point where they are dreaming of a flat, green, Benjamin Franklin beckoning them to the party at the house made out of many shiny Thomas Jefferson's, its too late.

  9. To me, wealth is simply money. Wealth is where you live, what you have, what you want and where you've been. I don't think wealth is some abstract thing in life however, I agree with Savannah 100% that happiness and love is what makes a life full. I have been very privlaged in my life. I live in an area where most people are driven by money and constanly wanting more. Excess is nothing new to me, I am surrounded by it. Does anyone need six cars? Does any mother need three nannys for two kids? Does any family of four need a house that could house the entire sophomore class at Arapahoe? No. But people work 12 hour day at a job that they hate because they think having more will magically make them happy. Is that sucsess? I think a person is sucsessful when they wake up in the morning and feel excited to take on the day. Like most people said, sucsess is happiness.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I want way more than I need. I think a lot of people pretend that they don't constantly wish they had more but I honestly think it's human nature. I don't think its a great thing, but I don't think its horrible to want material things.

    I really like Maria's question about knowing we are content but still wanting more. I don't have a good answer to that other than that is simply how our society is. Will our society ever learn how to want less?

  10. Material wealth and money will always exist, create jealousy, drive those to succeed, separate individuals, and cause breakdowns and booms in our business markets. It’s everywhere and its effects are undeniable. I couldn't agree more with Emily's outlook on the leading role money plays in our lives. It will always be a critical piece determining the quality of how we live. As much as we would like to think otherwise, it is the reality. It will always be around and if people have the desire to achieve material wealth then they have the right to make it a personal priority. Wealth to me is an abundance of possessions. I believe this can be both a state of mind as well as material goods. Someone can possess a wealth of knowledge or be physically wealthy and affluent. In the United States and specifically at Arapahoe High School iPhones, laptops, expensive clothing, and nice cars are the norm. Although there is much excess around us, it is likely the result of educated people working hard to afford these luxuries. I believe people personally have the right to spend their money however they desire, and even though I may not agree with their choices, they shouldn't be limited. I believe places of excess wealth and places of poverty will exist naturally. We see much excess..but TOO much is hard to quantify. I don't believe the world would be benefitted in anyway if excess was taken away completely. For example, if scheming entrepreneurs wish to start up a business, they look for companies and individuals with excess to help them in their efforts. Like I said before, progress can’t be made without wealth or excess. People's financial statuses are a reflection of how successful they are to a certain degree. Many dedicated people strive in their careers and therefore earn an impressive salary. However, like Lauren said, people can get lucky by inheriting money or stumbling upon a unique business opportunity. Success to me is putting 110% into something you do and being rewarded for it. Money isn't the only reward for success, however it is certainly a huge element. It is undeniable that we are always wanting more, but this is natural when we are progressing and trying to better ourselves in the many facets of life. To strive to want more is not a bad thing in my opinion as long as you don't let it overpower your morals or affect your personal balance of happiness. Being content and fulfilled may be mentally enough but not physically when supporting yourself becomes an issue. We really cannot escape the nagging concern money brings us. In many ways in defines our goals and future plans. Money is necessary and vital for life. However when it consumes our sense of pride or becomes a barrier between us and the other important aspects of life, problems are created. We use it to create social statuses and stereotypes that can often lead to wanting too much. So really like many other things, it’s a balancing act.

  11. Money in my opinion is actually a good thing. It forms a connection between neighbors and countries that could not have been formed otherwise in the form of trade. We have a thriving global economy, reaching from the shores of Melbourne, to the streets of London, and to the mountains of Denver all because money has allowed us to share goods and ideas. Money raises society as a whole up because with it we can innovate, collaborate, and share all our goods with the rest of society.
    The term wealth is really relative to everyone in my opinion. Kids at Arapahoe High School may look up at the people living in Cherry Hills and say that is the definition of wealth, but an inner city kid from Detroit would probably say that the kids at Arapahoe High School are the definition of wealth. Some people may not even look at wealth from the perspective of money. For example they may look at the most morally strong or mentally strong as having the greatest wealth since these two attributes may be more important to them than money. Either way I feel as though the term wealth goes hand in hand with the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." Wealth for the most part is looked upon as something outside of a person's reaches, so wealth in reality may just be the want for more.
    I think the want for more, whether it be money or anything else should not be looked upon as a bad thing. Most of the greatest people of all time have been the people who were not content or fulfilled with what they had. Investments for example would not be possible if not for businesses and citizens deciding what they had was not enough. The light bulb would not have happened had been content with the way lights were before. I agree with Jared in that money is good unless you let it consume you. Money only ruins lives for the people that allow it to ruin their lives.

  12. I see wealth and money as a huge goal for most people in this world. A lot of people see being wealthy as the ultimate way to be successful and that they will be happy when they are rich. I see money as more of a cushion in life. That although by itself, money cannot make you happy, but it can allow you to feel safer knowing you have something to fall back on. If you are an artist and love to do that, it will make you happy, but you cannot survive without money to buy food and rent. However, just because you have money, does not mean you are necessarily wealthy. If you have enough money to support yourself, you are not wealthy. If you have enough money to support yourself and buy lavishing things that no one really ever needs, like three cars or a giant marble statue. Wealth is having excess. A lot of people do have excess because it is hard to know and see where the line is between necessity and want. Jonny said that even if a person has material excess that they purchased that they deserve it because they bought it. I would have to disagree with that. I think that one person does not deserve something money related more than another. A lot of people did not work to get that wealth like Savannah said the just got lucky. Also, a lot of people are given a lot more opportunity than others are. If you are blest by being born into a wealthy status, you cannot help that. However, just because you are richer does not mean you are successful. Success is such a broad way to measure something that varies from person to person. I see success as measured by standards I have set for myself. If I get a B on a paper or project or test I am disappointed in myself. However, if someone else has lower standards and goals, they may see a B as wonderful. Success can only be measured by yourself and the bars you set for yourself. Personally, success is reaching the goals I set, which is very elaborate. I tend to base my goals on what I have done in the past and what I see around me. I do want to be better off than my parents financially, and tend to base my goals on what I think will be above what they did. But as I did this, I realized that I am capable of much than I had thought. Now, I am not easily satisfied by a little better, I need more. It seems to me that human nature is want. The better off we are, the more we want. If we have straight hair, we want curly hair and those with curly hair want straight hair. People with an android phone want an iPhone while iPhone owners wish their phone was smaller. We are never satisfied, even when we have it all.

  13. Whitney K:

    I think wealth is when people can go to bed at night in a nice house and not have to worry about if they will have a warm meal to eat the next day. Wealth is living comfortably and without constant worry, at least in my opinion. Therefore, the majority of America is wealthy. However, I think most people see wealth as the billionaires who have five cars, three mansions, and a vacation house in Cabo. Except to me, that isn't wealth, that is just ridiculous. That is being filthy rich, not wealthy. I have a hard time defining what is "too much excess". I was born here, I have been out of the country twice and therefore, I haven't had the opportunity to see first hand poverty as much. So for me to say what is too much, is difficult. I do think that as a country America is wasteful and that we do have a lot of excess. I think because we are so successful we take a lot of what we are given for granted. But each person is different and what they do with their money is their own business. When measuring out a persons success, I think there are a lot of ways to decide how successful they are. If you are talking about financial success, then the more money you have, the more successful you are. However, sometimes the richest in terms of money, are the poorest in life. Success is measured differently for different people. I think that if you can lay in bed at the end of the day and say that you are happy and satisfied with what you have, then you are successful. Each day you can say you might want the latest and greatest toys but that doesn't make you unsuccessful if you don't have them. Some people let what they don't have make them unhappy but I think there are some people out there that are happy even if they don't have the best gadgets. So yes, everyone does always desire more material things, but not everyone lets that define them. I agree with Lauren that greed is not something we can avoid but that some people have found a way to work around that greed and to still be content. I don't necessarily think there is a point when you can say someone is "too wealthy" or that enough is enough. Yes there are some people who do have insane amounts of money but a lot of times they donate and help out charities with all that money. So I don't think that anyone should be the judge of how much is too much. Wealth changes for each person, they is not right or wrong answer to how much is too much. All of these things are opinions, and to each his own.

  14. Wealth has been a part of history for as long as anyone can remember. People have compared who has the most money or the best clothing and not seen the downfalls that it provides. It blinds people and sends them into a whirlwind tunnel in which they can only see the material goods placed before them. People then surround themselves with these goods because the world tells them that all they need to be happy is to own a lot of stuff rather than concentrate on what is important in life such as family, friends and personal joy. While happiness has to do with reaching for goals, wealth pretends to fill that hole. It does give a person someone to aspire for but it is an empty promise that never fully satisfies a person and can drive them over the edge. Having a lot of money does not make a person successful, it simply shows that they are capable of following directions and doing what someone else asked them to do in order to bring home a paycheck. And then they do it again for the rest of their life in a never ending vicious cycle that can suck a person so low, they forget why they ever chased that piece of paper. Wealth is a distraction that is tempted before the whole human race like a carrot on a stick , and no one stops to realize that it's a rubber carrot, its not worth chasing. The things worth chasing do not need to be chased at all, they are found within one's self. Like many others said before, wealth is causing stereotyping and can outcast people who simply do not see the value in mounds of money, yet society condemns them. Do people use this behavior to make themselves feel better about themselves?

  15. To most of the world, wealth is considered to involve money and material goods. To be wealthy, a person must have a large house, nice cars, a lot of money, and have many other expensive things. I think that wealth can be considered money, but I feel it's different for everyone, just like happiness. I think that if a person is happy, they can be considered wealthy. I think wealth means being surrounded by people that care about you. We do see a lot of excess in society, especially here in America. We all constantly want more and more. Some people want more money, others want more food, and others want more material things. The excess things are not truly needed, but many people have convinced themselves that they need these things. There is too much excess, people are greedy and selfish, and do not realize that someone else could need those material goods more than them. I do not necessarily regard someone's financial status as a sign of their success. Yes, some people work very hard for their money, but some get it just by luck. People who win the lottery didn't really do anything to win that money; they didn't have to work for it. Money can also be inherited, which means that some people did nothing to earn the money. And there are many hardworking people who are not wealthy, but might consider themselves successful just for having a job. So no, financial status is not always a sign of success. I think that success is getting what you want out of life, and feeling like you have done your best to get those things. I agree with Savannah, that people are wanting more and more, and have too much. People will always want more, and it is too much. It's sickening to think that there are people who stuff themselves with food the entire day while there are people who are happy to get just one meal a day. Being content is enough, but most people are not satisfied with this. Some people only have what they need, and for them it's enough. Others are not satisfied with having multiple houses, expensive cars, and a collection of expensive items. Enough has different meanings to different people.

  16. My idea of wealth is having a lot of something whether that be money or material. in my mind money is a means to an end. It drives the world and ultimately many of our lives because it is very hard to live in a way you want to live without it. I agree with what Natalie said in regards to the fact that money and the effects of it will always be around. Those effects can be good or bad, however it us up to the individual to decide how much of a role they want money to have in their lives. In my opinion for a person to be wealthy they must have many things. Being wealthy doesn't just mean having a lot of money but people can be in things like friends or land or pretty much anything. I think that in today's world the excess we see is a result of our own greed and desire for that. The people that we see as wealthy are the ones who never live in the same place for more than a couple of months because they have so many houses. I would say that financial staus is a reflection of how successful a person is if the have worked for it. There are some people who inheret obscene amounts of money or win the lottery and in that case their money means absolutley nothing to me. Success to me is being able to set a goal and then go out and meet or exceed it. Like Chad said the definition of success is different for everyone else and it is up to the individual to decide if they have been successful or not. I think that people always want more than what they currently have. To me that is a given, people want to have as much as the people around them. I wouldn't say that it is wrong to want more because that want can turn into a drive to achieve a new level of living. I feel that people will almost never be satisfied because there will always be someone with more and there will always be someone with less. The level at which wealth beocomes enough is different for everyone. Some people won't be content until they have a G5 and drive a bently while others will be fine with living in a good house and having a family.

  17. For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by people who seem to have a life ambition of success... who wouldn't want to be successful? Wealth, money and success have become engrained in the minds of growind generations since the start of humanity. It is how people live and I can't see any possibilty of that ever changing. Many times discussions like this make me feel really guilty and greedy because my family is pretty well off. We don't struggle to put food on our table, clothes on our back or roofs over our heads. Sure, gas is expensive, so are all of the extracirricular activities my brother and I take place in but when I really think about it, we always make things work in our favor. I willing admit that I constanly want things that I don't need. I am a modern consumer and I take full responsibility for that. I'm not proud of it but I recognize it and feel that every other student in our class is in some way guilty of the same charge. Money and currency fuel our society and without it we would have no economic structure... and who knows what would happen if that was ever to come about. People have become soley dependant on money adn rightfully so. Look how far it has taken people. Look how far it has ruined others. Is it luck? fate? inheritance? right place at the right time? I don't think i'll ever really know but what I do know is that even though I am an extremely happy person, sometimes enough isn't enough. I respectfully envy those souls who live off of barely anything and are just as happy if not more happy then all of us big dogs in 'merica.

  18. My perception of wealth is that of having a healthy comfortable lifestyle, as Whitney said. But not everyone is wealthy, because many people are not satisfied with their condition and their drive for money takes away from their life. Money is an important thing in life, but not really a needed thing. It can be important in helping fight diseases, famine, and uncomfort. I agree with the term that Olivia put, that money is like a cusion.
    Even though it is a cusion though, people are trying to add more to it so that it becomes uncomfortably large, so to speak. I see a lot of excess these days when people go out and spend money on the latest ipad when they already have one.
    I don't believe that financial status is a indicator of how succesful you are. Everyone in my family is studying to be doctors and lawyers, and then theirs me, who wants to pursue the artistic career. If they make more money and yet I do something I love, will that make them more successful than I? I don't believe so because I believe that success is determined by how much you give the world, how much of your life you utilize to make yourself happy.
    Everyone is always wanting more, yet I don't see how never being satisfied with one thing will make you happy. Being content with what you have is enough because then you can focus more time on happiness. Enough is enough when you will hurt others just to make money.

  19. I have heard people refer to wealth as love or happiness, but when I think of wealth I automatically think of money. I believe that wealth is anything that is important to a person. In today’s society money is very important to all. Without it people couldn’t get food, shelter, or a good education. It is a never ending vicious cycle. We need money to get money. People have gotten carried away with wealth. Who need s a ten-million dollar house for three people? Spend that money on people who have no house or food! There are people dying because they starve or freeze or just are sick, and some people who live with trash cans full of food and heated driveways. Really? I think that how much money you have shows your success to a point. If someone was born into riches they clearly didn’t earn any of that money. But for those who earned every penny they owned having wealth is a huge triumph. Bill gates once said “If you were born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.” Do you think this is true?
    Humans always want more. It is what has drove human civilization to expand since the beginning of the world. Without this desire humans would be nowhere. There is a point where humans need to realize they have enough and start focusing on others. The man who lives in the forty million dollar house clearly has enough and should probably focus on other and see what good they can do with their wealth. Enough wealth is when you can live comfortably and still help others until they can acquire wealth themselves.

  20. Although it has been said that money cannot buy happiness, it can provide a method for doing things that make us happy. As Emily said above, many of the things she enjoys such as skiing and hiking would not be available to her without the proper funds. This is true for me too, without money I wouldn't be able to buy my tennis racket and balls, which bring me immense joy and I couldn't imagine living without, because it would mean giving up the sport I love most.
    However money doesn't always equate to wealth, I believe people can be wealthy in many ways; friendships, happiness, love and health. But I think that we live in a society where the word wealth has become synonymous with money, and it makes me very sad. Americans in particular have gained the 'bigger is better' mentality over the years and see more money as necessary to live the kind of life they want. Most people who pursue financial success do it for the wrong reasons; they do it to buy houses with 15 bedrooms and one car for each day of the week. I have never heard anyone say that they want to earn lots of money to help others and give it away, but rather to boost their own already comfortable lives. This is not success to me. Success is doing the things you love most and can be measured in happiness, not a dollar amount.
    We have become too accustomed to having more than enough and still wanting more, and it makes me upset when I think about all the money spent on unnecessary items while hundreds of thousands of people will go to bed hungry. Enough wealth is the money needed to provide 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, and slightly more to accommodate for the things we love most, which sadly depend on our capability to pay.

    Would you rather be poor and happy or wealthy and miserable?

  21. Material wealth is a scientific concept. It is linear and not open to interpretation because it is solely based upon the amount of income a person earns. It has nothing to do with love or abstract ideas. "Wealth" in general can mean anything. Physical wealth. Mental wealth. All of these mean the same thing. It is a way of measuring how much you have. You can measure monetary wealth but personally I think it is impossible to determine how much happiness wealth you own. Some people feel the need to count how much happiness they have and therefore turn to the only thing in wealth that is countable: money. This is part of the reason why there is so much excess in the modern world today. We learn in our humanities classes that the US is only 4% of the world's population and yet we consume 24% of the products on Earth. This is scientific proof of excess. Whether it is too much is not for me to judge. On the one hand, we are one of the richest countries so we feel like we deserve to take so much because we have earned it. On the other hand, there are countries out there that don't even have beds to sleep on. It is a moral fight.
    I agree with Hannah when she said she thinks success is based on how excited you are to take on the day. It is not a measurement of how rich and famous you are. If that were true, Charlie Sheen would be seen as hugely successful. I do admit, he is quite hilarious at times but I do not think he is successful because of the torture his mind goes through due to all the drugs and tiger's blood. Success should be based on whether or not you are doing what you want to be doing. If your life goal is to be a veterinarian and you become an accountant and are deeply saddened by this fact, then you are not successful. You may make more money but you are not happy with the way you are doing it. I believe success is more about reaching personal goals rather than earning buckets of money.
    However, living in such a modernized country, people are almost programmed to want more. More money. More friends. More activities. More choices. More stuff. More. Honestly, we cannot help it. Most people are raised consumers. We get presents, shop, and eat more than we probably should. It is how many of us have been trained. So yes, I believe we will always be wanting more. It is a way of life. Whether or not we want too much is a matter of perspective. Most people would not admit they want too much. It would mean sacrificing the hope that they would get the thing they want. Anyone can be greedy just as anyone can be very generous or happy. I don't think it is so much that we want too much but rather we have very simple access to the things we so "desperately want". Wanting a lot would not be a problem if it were impossible to get our hand on that which we want.
    I don't think anyone is ever truly content or fulfilled. There are a few rare cases but usually people gain enough and realize there is still more out there that can be achieved. Most wish to achieve these things. I feel like when you have enough, you'll know it. You'll know it deep in the corners of yourself. It is not concrete even in the slightest bit.

  22. Wealth according to the second definition in the dictionary: "an abundance or profusion of anything; plentiful amount."

    Money according to the first definition in the dictionary: “any circulating medium of exchange, including coins, paper money, and demand deposits.”

    What struck me as so interesting in the definition of money was the term “paper money”. Hmmm. It almost makes our world seem as childish as a simple game of monopoly. That’s what we value so much? Whaaaa? Paper runs the world. Everything about it is based on paper. Whoever has the most paper wins. That’s how it goes. The definition of wealth cited above appears more general, but this definition is only the 2nd definition in the dictionary. The first relates directly to money. So I think it’s obvious by now that our world revolves around and values “paper” more than it should. To me, wealth isn’t about your success or your fame. Wealth is a word that resides deep inside knowledge, experiences, perspective, self-image, and relationships. Wealth is something untouchable. A something that we’ve all felt before. I believe that in a lot of cases wealth relates almost directly to happiness. A happy person pictures themselves as a wealthy person. Not necessarily with material wealth, but in more situations with untouchable wealth. I really liked the quote that Jared inserted in his response about how wealth relates to manure. This is completely true with material wealth. Since we value it so much, we see it so unnecessary to keep it in one spot, because we all want an equal share. With untouchable wealth, you have to earn it on your own, which is why a lot of people are failing today. I also agree with a lot of others’ opinions about our “wants”. It is easy to take for granted our money-filled lives. And even inside of them, we’re always longing for more. Part of that longing makes me mad at myself. Me, wanting to get something, when a lot of people don’t even have what they need. However, I think that the “want” for untouchable wealth should grow more. People who picture themselves as wealthy have a lot of what they love, and that’s why wealth changes according to each person’s perspective. The people that are the most content have what they need and what they want also. The key is picking the thing you want that will pay off in the end. Wanting and working towards a better relationship with God. Wanting a better grade, in hopes of getting into a better college. Wanting a better relationship with parents, and working towards it. Wanting to help the poor and homeless in hopes of an easier life for them. It takes passion to gain these untouchable wealths, but when you gain them you end up feeling richer than any rich man could ever feel with his… Paper. :)

  23. I believe that material wealth and money refer to comfortable living, but the catch is that ones standard of comfortability increases with wealth. Once someone is given an abundance of something they cannot live without it. That is why I agree with Jack when he explains that wealth alters our perspective on those less fortunate. Many at Arapahoe will never know what it is like to not have enough money so we can not speak for others who have experienced that.

    In addition, I agree with Rae when she talks about people who can be happy but not wealthy. They can be simply a person who lives off the bare necessities and nothing more. Money drives us into believing we need more when it is really just a want. Clearly in America the standard of living is greater than anywhere in the world, but that does not mean that we are the happiest people. This is because money does not properly reflect one's success. Success is not just having a profitable job and being able to afford expensive luxuries, it is having a well rounded lifestyle that does nto revolve around money. Therefore, success is not measured by wealth but by one's life accomplishments.

    When it comes to money, its all about understanding the difference between wants and needs. Only then will we truly know if what we have is enough.

  24. When I think of wealth, one thing pops into my mind; credit card. These past couple of years I have seen so many commercials for people in debt. My parents have warned me about credit cards and refuse to give me one because they make you think you have money. Even though people may look wealthy, they could be in huge debt all thanks to the credit card. This is why I believe credit cards are a bad idea.
    On the other hand, people can truly be wealthy. I don’t like games like the lottery where a person can become instantly wealthy by luck. Being wealthy should be an accomplishment to those who worked hard for their money, not something easily gained. However, with that being said, if making money is your goal in life, how can anyone be happy? People shouldn’t study for a career that they hate just because it pays well. Maybe that’s why people aren’t happy. They focus too much o money and not enough on what makes them happy. Money also gives people fake happiness because people buy so many material goods. We think that we absolutely need this new gadget when we really don’t. Before any of this technology was invented people seemed to be perfectly content with their lives. Material goods and money are blinding us from what truly makes us happy; friends and family.

  25. Wealth is usually measured by how much money or "stuff" that a person has. Of course there are plenty of people out there who measure their wealth by the amount of love or experiences one might have in life, but generally that isn't the case. I feel like I personally ask for too much. But then I never think of that when I'm asking for whatever it is that I so "need". I think the problem of excess is very pressing for the happiness of Americans especially. Honestly, I use and buy so much stuff, I wish I wasn't such consumer. Like Rae said above, I completely wish I was one of those people who could just have nothing and be content, because I feel like by simplifying our possessions, we simplify life, making it easier to be happy with. Success isn't defined by your financial standing. Society seems to wealth success quite often, but I'd consider myself more successful if I had lived a happy life and completed what I wanted to complete than if I were a billionaire without having been as happy. Americans seem to always be wanting and wanting things. We keep pushing it and eventually we will hit a wall and then what do we do when society can't keep waiting for a new iPod model to come out the next month? Enough becomes enough whenever a person realizes that all they are doing is following a never ending pattern of want or greed. It's a matter of coming to that realization that we should all worry about in people.

  26. The literal translation of wealth is "a great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or other riches." Thus, being the literal person that I am, wealth is money. Clairissa put it plainly, wealth is a scientific concept. To me, material wealth and money are a significant part of everyone's existence. Because money is intertwined in everything in this world, it is impossible to not have it be attached to an individual's identity. That being said, problems are created when it is an individual's only identity. Wanting to be judged solely on financial success is making yourself and those around you vulnerable to stooping to a ridiculously superficial mindset.
    In regard to excess in today's world, I believe there is excessive excess. However, I don't always believe it's an entirely negative thing. For example, if a successful business man wants to buy a lavish home with a ten car garage, who is to begrudge him?
    Being only sophomores in high school, financial status is hardly a fair reflection of success. Right now in our lives, when breadwinning isn't the main focus, success is measured by effort. In the real world, I would consider success as primarily being related to monetary success. That is not to say that missionaries and others who lead selfless lives are not successful, there certainly are exceptions.
    As mentioned in several comments before mine, it is human nature to want more. And yes, I would argue that we all want 'too' much. To me that's analogous to asking if someone would like to turn down winning the lotto. Always wanting what we can't have is what causes a lot of our world's problem, yet it keeps the world moving by motivating those who want.

    Do people ever reach a point where they feel fulfilled?

  27. When I think of wealth, I think of someone who is able to do what they want because they have enough money to do so. From my background and my family, I am surrounded by wealthy people. I believe that most of Arapahoe is wealthy because they are able to attend the school. People who are not wealthy are the people who barely make a living because they do not have enough money to do so. However, how much money a person has does not say anything about their personality. Our personality is defined through our actions. Money may show that we have a successful job and we worked hard to get there, but it could also show that your parents had a lot of money and you inherited it.
    Success is the way we use what we are given. If people want to be successful, then they will challenge themselves in and outside of school. Success is measured by how far you are willing to go up the road when the gate opens in front of you. This generation is driven by technology, but there are still farther places to achieve. The people who want to be successful will find those roads, but people who are not will follow what society has already provided. I believe that it is human for society to always want more. Everyone always wants what they can't have, but that doesn't mean it should stop you from your ambitions. The people who want to be successful will put aside their wants so that they can focus on something else, but that doesn't mean they forgot about it.
    Are people ever truly fulfilled? I believe that people reach a point in their lives when they realize that in the big picture, their wants don't help at all. This probably occurs when you have children and grandchildren, or a dream job, or you are retired. Until then, people feel like they could have something else to make their lives better, but most people don't realize how good their lives already are. When are we able to step back and look at the big picture? I think it is different for every individual.

    What does society do to make you never feel fulfilled?

  28. Money often translates to power. When one has money, he can spend it in a way that creates superiority. While money isn't all that constitutes power, it is a very large deciding factor.

    I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but wealth is really all about perspective. In the United States, a millionaire is considered very wealthy. However, in poorer countries, wealth can mean having a thousand dollars. Essentially, to be wealthy is to have more money than those around you.

    Success is a tricky one. Traditionally, being successful means rising monetarily from one's origin. However, within the last fifty years or so, the term "success" has become more arbitrary. Really, now it just means to be good at what an individual does. For example, one can be a successful teacher or legislator or parent, without necessarily being wealthy. Therefore, wealth does not equate to success.

    From what I know, we are always wanting more, but only in the sense that we want our children to be better off than ourselves. It is human nature to want to better oneself. However, that does not mean that that we want too much. The problem today is that, when measuring excess, the only measurement we can use is a percentage.

    Clairissa stated matter-of-fact that the US is 4% of the world's population and uses 24% of resources. She went on to state that these numbers prove that we are excessive. But compared to what, a tiny blue planet where over one-third of people live in poverty? These resources may be non-renewable, but what if each person used as much energy as the average American? Those resources would run out briefly and we would refine the hydrogen engine. In this way, excess would force progress. Maybe we would finally start mining other planets. The possibilities are endless. (This is why science fiction is valuable literature!)

    Enough is enough when every single desire is fulfilled and there is still excess in one's life.

  29. Personally, I hate the idea of how money impacts each and every person. It makes us want things that aren't going to help us in any way or make any impact on our life. Money clouds our judgement more than anything else because of how it makes us think that things will be so much better with it when in reality, nothing truly changes. The world believes that wealth involes big houses, many cars, tons of money and being surrounded by others with the same as yourself. The problem is that true wealth can involve being with the ones you love and having the best time possible everyday. Wealth is simply a measure of happiness. One can be wealthy and not have anything at all whereas, someone with a lot of money is not truly wealthy because they don't understand the meaning of happiness. I don't believe you're financial status is a reflection of your success because your self success might be measured by how much you help others surrounding you and those that are less fortunate. You don't get paid for these jobs, yet are more successful in a way because of that. Many people will do things simply for money but the best people in the world are those who do amazing things and don't expect anything in return. The main point is that even without being paid, they are still being successful by helping society. Success is that feeling you get when you know that you did everything you could do, you gave it your all. I feel successful when I feel that achieved my goal and even if I don't acheive my goal, I still give it my all and never gave up. I do believe that we as humans, always want more. We always want what we don't have and what we can't seem to get. I also believe that we want too much. Me included, society has been taught to always want to be the best and have the most. As Rae and Jenna said, one of the goals I have is to not want as much, to be content with what I have. This is because when I look at what I have compared to many others, I start to realize that I am extremely privlidged and that no matter what I should be happy because of all I am given. I feel that the point of enough is way less than anyone can imagine. Many people that don't have anything are happier than most wealthy people ever will be. I believe that this is because they understand the importance of what they have and what it would be like to have to live without the little they have. The wealthy though, don't understand what it is like to live without something because they can just get it, they will never be truly happy with what they have unless they realize how quickly it all can go away.

  30. Wealth is thought of by most Americans as how much money someone has, how much stuff they have, what kind of car they drive and how big of a house they live in. Material goods are what we have inside our houses or what we use on a regular basis such as cell phones, televisions, computers, ect. I see a lot of excess materials today because people only tend to only see their wants and go beyond their needs. It is all right to have a few wants, everyone has wanted something at one time or another, but it is over the top when people have some much stuff they don’t know what to do with it. It is sometimes very disappointing how greedy some Americans are because some people in the world have never even seen some of the common items people tend to overspend on.

    How much money you make has no bearing on how successful you are. Success isn’t based on one scale; it is based on a person’s expectations. People who make the most also work the most, so people who make less money have more free team and can develop closer relationships with their family than someone who is working all the time. Success is based on whether a person achieves the goals they set for themselves, whatever they may be. Not everyone dreams of becoming a millionaire, as many are willing to sacrifice a higher wage just to be happy.

    We always want more because we are constantly getting more. We are never happy with what we have, because there is always more stuff available so people cannot resist the temptation. We want too much because we often live on the mentality that there is never too much. People always say to themselves that one more won’t hurt, but it comes back to haunt them after 50 more.

    I think being content is fulfilling enough because sometimes I wish I had more even though I have plenty of stuff, but deep down I know I am happy and grateful for what I have. It is tough to show your true feelings, when you have access to so much. Enough is enough when there are piles of junk lying around your house that hasn’t moved in years. It is also enough when you have to get rid of something after it has been forgotten. Nothing should ever be forgotten because that tells you that you weren’t happy with it and had to move on so that you would be happy with something else.

    I agree with Alyssa, money should not impact us, because it makes us complete our wish list. I agree with Joe on how he said money translates into power, people tend to abuse their power based on their wealth which is wrong. In society the people that we hear about most are the ones with the most money, it doesn’t make sense why we have to focus on those people because don’t they already have enough spotlight? The aspect of media in our country telegraphs our mentality and sadly draws too many conclusions.

    In America success seems like something few achieve, but one day hopefully success in America will be portrayed differently, because anyone deserves to feel successful if they believe they are.

  31. I think that money in the end is worthless in life. Yes it does have value while you are living but I would much rather have a “wealth” of love and happiness as apposed to a wealth in money. I think that people should measure their lives on how happy they have been and how much love has been in their lives. This is what truly makes me happy in mine not how much I have in my bank account. People seem to be always wanting more and not appreciating what they have in the here and now. Wanting what you have will never leave you bitter and willing to hurt anyone to get more it will leave you happy as you are now.