Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:12:54 PM
As much as I like to think that the world does not revolve around money, it does. Living in today’s modern society makes it hard to survive without some kind of income. Virtually everything has a cash value to it: food, shelter, clothes, medical care, electricity, transportation. Americans have even put a price on enjoying natural wonders, such as the Grand Canyon.
Being a teenage girl, money is important to my lifestyle. I would not consider myself spoiled, but I am incredibly blessed. I spend a lot of my time on the computer, texting, or going out with friends. Unfortunately, a majority of these activities have some kind of financial cost to them, and I only receive eight dollars a week. Living in a world of high prices, I tend to rely on my parents for money. They are expected to pay the bills/taxes, supply me and my three sisters with food, and pay for many of our luxuries. I understand how incredibly fortunate I am, though. I have walked through the streets of New York City before, and I have seen the hungry, deprived, homeless people on the sidewalks. These people are lucky if they eat anything throughout the day, while I am granted at least two meals everyday. By some unlucky twist of fate, these people are forced to starve in the streets, all because they have no money to buy food or shelter or clothes.
I look at some of the teenagers in my school and see how spoiled they are. I hear girls talk extremely foully of their mothers because they cannot have the latest, most expensive accessories. I wonder why they cannot see all the lavish articles they have, and I have come to realize the answer is money. Money blinds people; it makes them oblivious to their surroundings. In a way, it is like an addictive drug; the user cannot survive without it.
When I asked my ten year old sister about her viewpoint on money she replied, “It’s good. You need money, it’s good for you. It’s like vitamins.” She then proceeded to list all of the things she needs in life that have a monetary value. I thought about her response, and noticed that it was exactly what I would have said when I was her age. I grew up with the notion that money solved problems. I was fascinated by its ability to be exchanged for anything I could possibly desire. After learning more about economies and the world in general, I realize that money is not all that magical. It is more of a limiting factor. It causes wars, embellishes greed, determines poverty, and restricts privileges. Money can be good when used to resolve certain issues, but there are many people in the world with limited access to it.
The reliance on money is inevitable; there will always be new expenses to pay. Hopefully, people will recognize how fragile society becomes when money is allowed to control our lives.