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Money doesn't always mean success

Updated: 2013-12-25 07:12
( China Daily)

Seventy-one percent of the Chinese respondents to a recent survey in about 20 countries said they measure individual success in terms of material possessions. Compared with people in other countries, the percentage of Chinese equating money with success is significantly higher and cause for concern, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

To some extent, success can be measured in terms of money. Money or material possession remains a defining indicator of personal success. In a society that has overcome material deprivation and started enjoying the fruits of economic development, its members tend to consider money as the only criterion that determines success and thus resort to retaliatory or conspicuous consumption.

Although treating money like dirt and living a detached life seem like a lofty idea, society would not function properly if everybody did so. Without material desire, there can be no creativity and thus no economic and social advancement. Therefore, moderate worship of wealth can be positive.

But when money becomes the only criterion to measure success, people could deviate from values and morals. For example, officials might start demanding bribes and become corrupt while money obsessed businessmen could ignore ethics and even violate the law to produce and sell substandard or fake commodities at lower prices. Hence, equating money with success can be socially detrimental.

Fortunately, such mentality in society does not last long. When more people become well-off, they lay less emphasis on money. Of course, they have to be guided on their moral journey. For example, the establishment of a healthy social atmosphere can help foster values among people.

(China Daily 12/25/2013 page9)