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David Pirillo

Professor Enock

November 19, 2002

Basic Comp.

More Important Than Money

Many people consider money the most important thing in this world. In America many people feel money is the most important thing. One reason for such an acquisition is that many people also believe that with money comes power. The sense of what you have causes people to look at you differently. In the, "Chosen People" Stuart Ewen states, "It's not what you own it is what people think you own" (183). Such as using credits allow people to assume you have money and yet they have no way of telling if you do or not since it appears that you have money due to the credit card. Yet some people feel there are more important things than money. Is there anything more important then money? Some people value life and what is worth over money. In Carol De Saint Victor's "Go Slowly and You Arrive" Carol goes to India and views it for what it is worth. In India Carol finds out that they do not value money as much as Americans do. Over in India most people care more about life then money.

In the story "Go Slowly and You Arrive" Carol is talking to a Muslim and asks a question the responds is, "I live on floor and little by little I go up. I do not want to live in sky." (557). The Muslim speaker is saying that even though he isn't very wealthy he is fine with that. He lives a meager life and he is content. He says that, "he doesn't really want to live in sky", which is just another way of saying that he doesn't want to live the high life. It shows how he is a humble Muslim who lives the way god wants him to.

The opposite holds true in a materialistic place such as America. In the Chosen People it is stated,

"These discussions of the "middle class" and its anxieties have a remarkable current ring to them. They point to the emergence of a consumer society filled with mass-produced status symbols, in which judgment about a person is not based on what one does within society, but rather upon what one has" (194).

In modern American society many people go out and buy things in order to impress people. They are setting an allusion that they have money so that other people will see this and respect them. These ideas of wealth are given to us by our false sense of power. These people feel that the feeling of power and wealth make them happy. Is it the money that truly makes them happy? In the novel, "Go Slowly and You Arrive" it says in one line, "Jenny from California is antique woman. Boys do not want to be in bed with antique" (552) they are talking about how even for money boys don't want to sleep with her. It is degrading and these boys feel their pride is worth more then any money value. This kid shows that to him money isn't the most important aspect in life. While money is a material that the young boy would profit from in the end his pride would last forever.

Being extremely rich is something most people will never be. In the same sense, being amazing at something rarely happens in people. An Englishman states, "I want good respect. I want to be natural, not like Michael Jackson" (552). He is trying to state that he doesn't want respect for being famous or for having large sums of money. He wants to earn it by doing great things. It isn't all about money and power. If you can work hard and earn it means more.

Anyone can be born into money and many people can also be born into poverty. And yet if you were born into to money you can never truly understand what it is like being in poverty. What is it like to beg for food or just barely being able to pay your bills. Yet a person born into poverty has no idea what it is like to be rich. Yet if they were lucky enough to hit the lottery or some other way of becoming rich they would already know what it is like to have nothing and can appreciate the money more.

It is said money can't buy happiness. Whenever you hear that quote it is usually by some rich guy who has tons of money. Yet a middle-class and lower-class person usually disagrees and says money can buy happiness. The reason rich people say money can't buy happiness is because they have and or can get whatever they desire. So to them having more money wont make them any happier. Look at Bill Gates he gives away more money then any other single person does. He doesn't need that much money it doesn't matter anymore. Yet less privilege people feel that money can make them happy since they don't have it. They will want to go out and buy all the things they dreamed of and do things they were never able to do. It is easy to see both points! It reminds me of the age old question is the cup half full or half empty. It is rather easy to answer if you are filling the cup it is half full and if you are drinking the cup it is half empty.

In the story, "Go Slowly and You Arrive" Carol Victor talks about the hotel manager says, "Before, he was carefree, happy, now, he worries" (553). He has a nice hotel but with little money he can't do much. He is trying to please everyone who comes yet the money is hurting him. He doesn't have the time he use to have to spend doing things he cares for. When people go out and work hard to make a suitable amount of money, they have to give up on certain aspects of there lives. Such as not spending the same amount of time with family or never having a hot meal. But that is just the start they have to stay at work late and on weekends. Who can forget about kissing up to the boss? Is the money worth it a lot of people feel it is but a lot don't? The hotel manager is a good example. He works so hard there that he is no longer able to enjoy life for just being there 'alive'. He has ideal stress from working too much and to hard. On top of that he is getting paranoid. It is noticeable in his work and that doesn't help his business actually could hurt his business in the end.

Another quote from "Go Slowly and You Arrive" is, "I have nothing else to give except money, which I think I should not offer" (550). She knows money is not a personal gift it is like her saying here take this money since I don't know you well enough to get you a gift. When people get gifts they hand select them for meaning because they know money is meaningless. So if money is meaningless when getting gifts why it is so important the rest of the time? Money isn't that important



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