Essay: Is Luxury an Evil?

Say we need two thousand dollars to buy the services and goods. But in real life, we earn and spend more money on buying other things that we could easily do without. The process is called a luxurious consumption, and the modern tendency is such that it is compared to something extravagant, abnormal, and even evil. So is luxury an evil? Or maybe, it depends on your interpretation…

We all have quite different standards of luxury. Everyone has rather different desires and requirements. But according to the Bible, a man must either go and sell all his material possessions or give them to the needy. The money bags he should provide himself with must be full of treasure in the heavens, where there are no thieves or destructions. And the real treasure must be where the heart is.

Yes, since the dawn of time, being rich has been linked to the lack of moral. We believe that money changes people, making them see themselves being better than others. Labelling has already become a tradition. But labelling people with the word like evil, we are mostly going the wrong way.

Psychologists studying the influence of wealth on the person’s behavior have come at the conclusion that money powerfully influenced the thoughts and actions of those who didn’t have it rather than those who did. As wealth is surely very subjective, phycologists made up their mind to research the different ideas of well-being (education attainment, intergenerational wealth, the income scale, socioeconomic circumstances, and job status). The results they faced were shocking.

Individuals with lower income tended to stereotype and judge those being wealthier. The two main words used while judging were cold and evil. Being the main source of envy and distrust, rich people have very little real support when struggling through hard times.

Another study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania showed that the surveyed link income with social harm. When the surveyed were asked to assess the list of companies, people with low and middle-size family income showed greater evil to companies with greater profits, independent of the companies’ real actions.

Being rich doesn’t make a person evil. Usually, to have a luxurious life, present-day wealthy men had to go through really hard work, providing benefits and value to those who’ve been working for them and with them. Rich people have more money to give to charity, and they actually contribute to charity more than others. What is more, rich people have nothing to do with keeping anyone from reaching their financial heights.

To stop linking wealth to evil, there are three main things you need to overthink:

  1. Money is an object. It can’t be evil or benevolent. It can’t make the person who possesses it monstrous unless he/she is by nature or choice. It’s our moral values that rule us, not the bank accounts.
  2. It’s not about what you earn. It’s about what you save. Rich people are becoming rich, not because of their greed. It’s because of wise savings and investments. No one prevents you from doing the same.
  3. Money doesn’t make you happy. On the one hand, money buys housing, healthcare, electricity, medicine, round the world trips, etc. On the other hand, it can’t buy peace of mind, love, support, friendship, respect.

What is the real evil is the great love for great money. The chase for this ever-​elusive medium of exchange spoils, ruins, evokes greed, and manipulation. One must feel the difference between a rich person living in luxury and a rich person living in craving for more money without a wish to share or contribute to charity.

Not all people are evil. Not all poor people are angel-like or open-hearted. If we treat others by looks and not deeds, the already cruel world will become more unbearable.

The message that we want the people to repeatedly think about is that we all need to break down from the narrative that luxury is evil. It’s because this narrative is fake. In most cases, the human brain is so lazy that it simply gravitates towards dividing things into black and white. Actually, it is way easier to think the white-and-black way than looking at the complex.

And finally, the levels of evil and good you associate with money and luxury typically come from your own intentions. This is not something associated with the qualities that money possesses. Money is powerless by itself. It’s your thoughts that define the role of money in your life. Thus, it’s only the owner that is potent enough to turn money either into evil or into good.
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