The article “Money for Morality”, written by Mary Arguelles, explains and argues about our society today where people seek incentives and rewards for being a better person. In today’s world, people have no motivation to create an honest society due to greed and lack of self worth. Mary has chosen to present a couple examples of children in these situations along with her strong arguments about these.
Just recently, Mary tells us about a newspaper article in which an eight year old boy found an envelope with six-hundred dollars and he decided to return it to the owner.
The man, who lost the money, gave the boy three dollars for his keen admiration which was quite gratifying. Yet, the boy’s teacher felt that for being a better person you should receive a bigger reward. The true prize is in being happy about being honest and that you helped someone out. They acquired a one hundred fifty dollar savings bond in which they gave to the boy and explained to him that his actions should be recognized.
Arguelles puts a strong argument in the fact that morality and compassion become commodities like everything else. The young boy did the right thing by returning the money, most would not. This world is corrupt, and so she believes that to most people, doing the right thing seems to be lacking incentive for working in our materialistic society. Mary Arguelles explains that misplaced virtues are running rampant through our society because everyone gets something in return when they do something right.
Another example is that most children learn that money is given for simply studying and getting those right grades.
School is something you should be glad to belong to; you should not be paid to learn when knowledge is a crucial part of a growing process for every child in the world. The author of “Money for Morality” never gave money to her son for an “A” or a “B” that he got in school. It does not mean that she never praised her son for doing well in school. Mary believes expressing your true pleasure in satisfaction that her son feels at having done his best. People need to be rewarded for elicit future performance when they should just be proud of themselves for doing their best and succeeding.
We give them money for honesty and acceptable grades yet being truthful has become a considerable problem in today’s society. We should be rewarding ourselves with self worth, values and morals by being honest. The satisfaction we get from knowing we did the right thing is what is most important. A third example that Arguelles tells us about is a TV program where unmarried teenage women receive ten dollars a week if they do not get pregnant again. I suppose it is not enough of a hindrance to be a single mother anymore.
One good point she makes is that we rely on external “staff” as measure of our worth, and then we pass this onto our children. Mary remembers one key aspect from the book and that is, to not bribe your child with ice cream to make him/her to eat spinach; it makes the spinach look awful. Artificial sweeteners are dulling our moral taste buds because that is how it works now, if you do this then you will get this. The simple virtues of honesty, decency and integrity suffer from an image problem and are in desperate need of a serious makeover.