TED Conversations

Ghina Zand Alhadid

Student of Biochemistry, molecular biology and psychology, Participatory Culture Foundation

TEDCRED 30+

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What Are the Ethics of Spending OUR Money? Are we Dependent on it?

Why isn't education attaining its goals? Why people are not taking care of their health? Why people are not creative enough? Why can't we discover the "next big thing" that will save the world? Why are anxiety levels increasing significantly in the society?... etc.

Or on a personal level, why am I unmotivated? Why am I uncomfortable? Why am I unhappy? Why do I find so much difficulties in life?... etc.

Our answer almost always includes: because of the lack of funding, no enough money.

So we look for ways to gain more money, we almost make it the aim of our lives. In a seminar that was held at my college for researchers, the speaker asked the people present, "Why are you pursuing your career in researching and science?" And almost everyone's answer was to have a better status, a better job, promotions... etc.!

We do own money indeed! We can spend it! BUT do we own the Earth's resources? Is it okay to spend money? On a small scale and a large scale?

I have been thinking for a while about this topic, about the rightness of spending our own money. About consuming the Earth's resources. We all spend money to buy things that we don't need, or things we need but can manage to do all right without them. Do you think we need to have more self regulation? To exert MORE EFFORT to substitute money? To take the TIME to think about alternatives?

Will consuming Earth's resources help us be more creative? Help our children understand better? Help people take care of their health? Is it money what we really need to help people? How much money do we need to make humanity happy?

My point is that I see people thinking that money is the magical thing that if we owned, everything is gonna be all great. It almost became a culture! You want to live better? Own more money!

And I see that we are missing out the point that money is not magical, it equals consuming the earth. Can we OWN the earth and do whatever we want with it? Do we realize what money is? How can we use it then?

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    Mar 5 2013: Many believe, as you do, that the majority of people think money will solve their problems or all problems.

    I don't know how widespread, really, among adults is the belief that money solves all problems. Some problems demand technological solutions or the design of systems that take ingenuity, a willingness to take risks, and a freedom to experiment.

    I have heard a lot of people worry they are not sending enough time creatively but never because of a lack of money. Nor have I heard people in the United States say that they don't take good care of their health because of money. More likely, they would make arguments related to demands on their time.

    There is research that is discussed here often that shows that after you have enough resources to cover your basic needs and a little more, extra money has no impact on contentment. Martin Seligman's TED talk is one that cites this research.
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      Mar 15 2013: Oh, it is interesting to see the difference in the ideology.

      Here it is a wide spread belief that if we had money, we would have a better region. A lot of money is being wasted, in my opinion, to replace human effort and time. And wasting money like that means wasting the earth resources that, i dont think, we own in the first place!

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