The money came to replace the previous system of bartering of one good for another. The bartering system was inefficient and tiring since one had to have the service or product that the other needed to carry out an exchange. However, with the introduction of money, the transactions can happen fast and conveniently. Money is also a crucial tool in every individual’s life especially in the highly capitalistic and competitive economies around the world. With money, one can be able to take care of their wellbeing and access comfort that makes life easier. Moreover, everyone needs money to obtain even the most basic needs such as food, water, and clothing in the current society and hence the high need for funding (Singer, 233). However, the competition for resources has resulted in a form of worship of money whereby individuals have been submerged in pursuit of money. In fact, to many they imagine that money will buy them happiness that they so badly need. The search of money has resulted in all forms of evil and the destruction of social order. Wealth is the one thing has led to the divide between people and resulted in inequality (Cbsnews.com). Those that get money want more even though they have more than they need in their lifetime and do anything to get more. Those that have none also sacrifice anything to achieve the riches. Money is, therefore, unavoidable evil among us that we need to control.
It is easy to point out the advantages that come with having money. Some would point out to the comfortable life where the money owner can access all their basic needs at their convenience and in real time. Being poor is also like a disease that can eat up an individual physically, emotionally and psychologically as they are not able to access healthcare, education, food, and other essential needs (Singer, 238). It is this that drives individuals to fight poverty at all cost to get the money that will move them to another social class. However, getting money and the pursuit of more money as is witnessed in the current society is a slow poison in society. Just as one does not recognize the effects that come with lack of exercise until they are obese or are suffering from a lifestyle disease that could have been avoided through an exercise to control weight, the pursuit for money works the same way. Money changes an individual’s way of thinking and restructures their schemas about social issues among others. It slowly poisons individuals until they can no longer recognize themselves resulting to broken families, failed parenting, and social segregation among others all in pursuit of more. Therefore, money changes everything among individuals.
Moral can cloud the moral judgment of a person or rather increase their arrogance. With wealth comes a sense of power and prestige over those that have lesser wealth. It is the inherent feeling of entitlement that make individuals ignore or forget the social order. In a study by a UC Berkeley study in San Francisco indicated that where the law required that drivers stop on crosswalks for pedestrians to cross, those that drove luxurious cars were four times less likely to stop (Gregoire). Those that drove less expensive cars stopped to allow the pedestrians walk, but the luxurious car owners broke the traffic law. They were more prone to cutting off other drivers and ignore some road signs. It is an indication of arrogance and a sense of power that made the individuals ignore morality with the majority of them having the justification that they have something more important to do. Another Harvard research also found out that by merely thinking about money, the individuals would ignore their morals. The participants that were presented with money-related words were found out to lie more than those that were not (Gregoire).
Wealth has been linked with alcohol and substance abuse (Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing). Money in itself does not cause any form of substance addiction, but it is a risk factor in some cases. The children that come from affluent backgrounds are exposed to some of the risky behaviors since they can afford to finance such actions and at the same time can access them all with money. Moreover, such children may also be under intense pressure to perform in all areas to keep up with the high expectations that are attached to the social class that they hold (Murray, 28). If they cannot deal with the pressure, they may engage in alcohol and substance abuse to cope (Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing). Wealthy parents are mostly very busy, and hence the children experience isolation as they grow up and hence lack the right form of socialization and hence the deviant behavior in adolescence or later in adulthood. Research has also indicated that children from high economic status score higher in maladjustment, which is a risk factor for abuse.
Money can also result to addictions and can become an addiction in itself. Dr. Tian Dayton, a Psychologist, asserted that money can be classified among behavioral addictions as a consequence of the compulsive nature that comes with the pursuit of more wealth (Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing). Some individuals pursue wealth until they lose touch with their social lives such as family and friends. Wealth creation becomes an obsession and addiction that they cannot shake off quickly taking long working hours without rest and risking their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Additionally, it can lead to addictions such as gambling. A gambler wants to make more money every time they have some, and this may result in a severe addiction that goes hand in hand with drug addictions (Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing).
Creating more wealth does not guarantee happiness and love. In fact, in most cases, money stands in the way of individuals achieving the sort out emotions. There are no available studies that have indicated a direct correlation between wealth and happiness or love (Smu.edu.sg). Therefore, money can impede one from achieving the values that they seek and hold with high regard. Even the richest in society need to feel wanted, loved, and feel that their wellbeing is protected hence achieve happiness (Smu.edu.sg). Unfortunately, money is destructive among the majority of families and segregates an individual making it difficult to relate to them. Wealthy individuals may find it difficult to trust people, as they cannot discern between those that are genuine and those that are just after their wealth. The things that bring happiness and love to an individual’s life and hence satisfaction are social relationships, purpose, meaning, and connection to others and nature all the things that money is incapable of buying and at the same time makes it difficult for an individual to achieve in their quest to get more. One becomes disappointed when all sort of personal fulfillment is not forthcoming from material things (Smu.edu.sg).
Money can detract an individual from connecting with others (Szalavitz). Naturally, people are created as social beings and hence the need to connect with others. However, research indicates that having wealth in mind makes people less concerned with connecting with others (Nair, 110). A study at the University of Minnesota, intimated that individuals primed with money in a research were less concerned with others did not mind social seclusion and wanted to work on their own. The disconnection from other people is what causes other problems such as substance abuse to replace the role that social relationships play in an individual's life. Such social isolation is also a risk factor for mental health issues such as depression since one is unable to cope with the normal stresses of life on their own (Szalavitz).
In conclusion, in as much as money is a solution to
underlying problems in life, its continued pursuit, and obsession is a recipe
for life on unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Wealth creation also comes
with a host of risks not just to an individual but also to their families. It
is because of the disconnection that one gets if they obsess with creating more
112). It can become an addiction
in itself that may ruin all the other areas of an individual in as much as it
will offer them an opportunity to afford all the things they desired. With
money comes ignorance and disregard of social order and morals due to a feeling
of affluence and entitlement. It is, therefore, crucial that one avoids
materialism in as much as they seek to find money for survival. The pursuit of
material wealth comes with a price in that one has to sacrifice the things that
may mean the most in a person’s life (Nair, 115). They may tend to have little or no social
connections, lesser time to engage in activities that bring happiness to them
and at times have little regard for family. The benefits of having money are
therefore offset by the sacrifices they have to make concerning their
wellbeing. Therefore, money changes everything.