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A piece of conventional wisdom that you have come to doubt.


Tohtoro 1 / -  
Apr 13, 2019   #1

"Money can't buy happiness"



We often encounter pieces of conventional wisdom. For good reason, these have become accepted ways of understanding phenomena in nature and society. But sometimes such pieces of conventional wisdom do not hold or apply, or are too simplistic.

Tell us about one such piece of conventional wisdom that you have come to doubt or question. Be sure that you address, at a minimum, the following three questions. What triggered this questioning? Why do you think this piece of conventional wisdom cannot adequately explain the natural or social phenomena? Finally, why is it important for you (or even for everyone) to rethink this piece of conventional wisdom -- what difference, in other words, can your questioning make?


"Money can't buy happiness" is a piece of conventional wisdom taught to us when we were young. The general consensus is that an obsession over money is bad and we should appreciate the fortune we have. In certain contexts, I do agree with these sentiments, however, I also find that people who think that money always relates to a bad connotation are very naive. Why do we not question our social constructs which led to our obsession over money? I always see people of the older generation throwing out comments of how we as part of the Generation Z batch or even the millennial batch are materialistic and have an unhealthy obsession with wealth. Yet, no one ever questions the reason for our obsession. Money itself is just an object used to make trading more uniform and neat. Money itself is not "bad", neither is it "good", it all depends on how we use such money. We are the ones who made the rules and we are the ones who made money "bad". Money buys us food, money buys us water and of course, money buys us necessities. It is not exaggerated to say the world revolves around money. Therefore, is it bad to crave for something which brings about so much benefits? This piece of conventional wisdom is just too simplistic and does not hold. It should be acceptable for the poor to crave for money as living in destitute is detrimental to anyone's health. We should instead question the psychological aspects of people who uses money in a detrimental way. We should instead question our system in which the rich gets richer while the poor struggle to climb up the mountain known as the social status. The system itself promotes greed and inequality. People who are poor already struggle to keep up with the advantages the rich has when they were at a young age. Things like tuition, things like laptops or technology in general, and things like going overseas to study in the case where their results are not optimal, the poor cannot afford those. For the top 1%, such objects may be a drop in the ocean in comparison to their total wealth, yet for the poor, going overseas for further education would be a huge burden on the whole family. Just by saying a simple phrase like "money can't buy happiness" makes me question in what ways does money not buy happiness. One can live in a home because of money, one can go to school because of money and one can live in comfort because of money. Of course, happiness does not only come from money, it also comes from family and friends. However, that is exactly what I am saying, happiness can be derived from many different factors, wealth included. Instead of saying "money can't buy happiness", it should more accurate to say "money is not the only way to be happy". I personally come from a low income household, and although I gain happiness through family time and hanging out with friends, I can also see how having wealth would help elevate my family and make us happier. People who find a balance between money, family and friends are the ones who maximises their happiness. It is like three circles intersecting, too much of one leads to a deprivation of the other, only by finding the right amount of all three can one maximise one's mental wellbeing. As such, to just simply say that "money can't buy happiness" just does not apply in our profit driven world.

Maria [Contributor] - / 135 79  
Apr 14, 2019   #2
I firstly suggest that you divide your essay into three particular points. Not unless you were told to specifically do this formatting of a single paragraph, then you should always ensure that you follow the fundamental format (introduction, body, conclusion) to reach the minimum requirement.

I could perhaps suggest the following paragraph delineations:
1. Tackle the idea of how money cannot buy happiness and where this idea first came from
2. Discuss your counter-arguments regarding the usage of money
You could perhaps start with these lines that you have:
Money itself is not "bad", neither is it "good", it all depends on how we use such money. We are the ones who made the rules and we are the ones who made money "bad".

3. Lay out your concluding remarks and a personal opinion statement regarding it
Having a structured composition for your essay can help with the flow of your thoughts. This will de-clutter your essay to ensure that your point is delivered clearly.

I would also recommend that you try to utilize more simpler structures for your essay. This can also help you have more hold over the direction of your phrasing. Doing this can also help you avoid small mistakes that can tamper on the quality of your essay.

For instance, I would revise this line "We should instead question [...]" as:
We should question the inequality in our social hierarchy when it comes to the gap between the rich and the poor.
Using descriptive words like inequality would be indicative already of all the phrasing you had mentioned regarding people climbing up their social status. Notice how this packaging makes it easier for you demonstrate your thoughts than needing to use heavier lines. You should apply this technique of writing all throughout your essay.

Best of luck.


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