September 29 2014
Essay 1 Value is defined as a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life (The American College Dictionary). Growing up I learned that money was a thing of supreme value in life. I held the belief that, when money is attained, happiness follows and so does a sense of security. The needed material goods in life cost a lot of money and if I could attain these material goals then I would be happy. Kenneth M. Gillam writes, “The power of money is even more insidious than greed. Money forms the basis of compelling ideological systems, or those sets of beliefs, conscious or otherwise, that we use to ascribe meaning and value to things” (4). Having spent years placing supreme value in the material world and finding no peace or contentment in life, something in me had to change. Revising the value I placed on money and learning to think differently about what constitutes something as valuable could be simple. Is it necessary, useful or does it have meaning? I use the three standards of necessity, usefulness, and meaning to establish value on possessions. Determining whether something is a base necessity is not difficult. Everyone knows that humans need clothing, water, food, and shelter to survive. “And we certainly need money in modern society: we trade it for the food we eat, the electricity that heats and lights our homes, the fuel for our cars” says Kenneth M. Gillam (6). I place an immense amount of value on the home that shelters my family. The money I spend on homeowner’s insurance, property tax, utility bills, and maintenance add up quickly. The peace of mind I get knowing my family is safe outweigh the expenses of having a home. I can say the same principle applies when it comes to food. I value good wholesome foods grown locally and organically. Although the dollar amount can be high, I do not believe it is of any value to our physical bodies to eat chemicals or
Cited: Gillam, Kenneth M. “Introduction: The Money in Your Hand and the Money in the Sky.” Money. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press. 2011. 1-8. Print. “Value.” The American College Dictionary. Eds. C.L. Barnhart and Jess Stein. New York: Random House, 1969. 1342. Print.