This growing trend is alarming. Though the desire for earning better is not wrong, neither to strive for it, yet it surely becomes threatening when it rises to be the driving motive of life.
Unfortunately, this passion for ‘more and more money’ is defining our lives today. From very young ages I see students planning for careers which can earn them the highest amount of money. There comes great loss of their skills and potential when ‘earning prospects’ become their only consideration in career planning. A youth who can do very well at law opts for medical sacrificing his basic interest and depriving the society of a competent future legal practitioner. A girl having natural aptitude for literature joins an engineering college dropping altogether the idea of pursuing her interest at a university. This is because people presume that some professions like engineering and medical can help them earn better and live a more comfortable life. These decisions result not only in personal loss of genuine capabilities but in the long term the great loss of capable individuals for the whole community.
Money driven frame of mind has badly reshaped our attitudes. Goal, purpose and ideology seem to have simply wiped out from our lives. Gone are the days when individuals would spare their whole lives pitifully but not sacrifice on their ideological grounds. People used to pursue journalism, professorship, statesmanship and the like careers despite low economic benefits just to fulfill their promises with their own selves, promises to help their young generation, to build their nation, to serve their land or their religion. Today, such people are few and far between.
Nowadays people find no harm in doing jobs for economic privileges at the cost of liberty to work, self satisfaction and personal pleasure. For example a teacher, who is not so capable of teaching a particular subject and he knows it, does not hesitate to indulge in teaching that if he ever finds a chance and feels no shame in wasting the time of students as far as the students are ready to endure him. A screenplay writer keeps generating same kind of crap scripts just because this is the popular trend and all the rest are doing the same, although he realizes it as detrimental to society. A journalist, comfortably working with an organization and having the liberty to say and write at his own accord, readily moves to somewhere else if offered an extraordinary pay, even if he knows there he will be required to pursue someone else’s agenda.
In my thinking, this is because we are rapidly becoming a society (or have actually become) where ‘financial status’ is the only criterion of nobility and the only parameter of judging ability. Consciously or unconsciously, we regard a person who is rich and look down upon the one who is poor neglecting who of the two is more principled and talented, upright and competent. And somewhere in our heart we think that only requisite for becoming a ‘respectable’ person in the society is to have more and more money.
Can money be the compensation for uprightness? For the pleasure one derives from working in area of one’s own interest? For quitting one’s own ideas? For surrendering one’s own principles? To have reasonable monthly income and children enrolled in reputed schools, to possess a nice home and a comfortable car; these are no extraordinary wishes but beyond that? Is there any end? Or are we trying to empty the ocean?
Acquiring ‘enough’ money is an unachievable purpose of life. In pursuit of money, we forget our relatives, ignore our families, abandon our hobbies, sacrifice our health, still at the end we remain unsatisfied. We desire more. The milestone proves to be a mirage. Lives remain hollow.
Even this hollowness of lives does not persuade us to redefine our goal. Perhaps, we have turned ourselves into a machine in order to earn ‘better’ living. Like machines, our purpose has become to generate more and more earning in less possible time without stopping and having a break to think: Money is important but is it that important?