2009 – 6th Grade 2nd Place Winner.

Aman Advani, California.

Greed or Giving: Which Has a Greater Impact on Society?

Greed. Giving. Which has a greater impact on society? Greed leads to war. Giving leads to happiness. Giving is always considered the right thing to do. But is it? Suppose one country gives another country weapons, bombs, and warcraft, just to attack another country. Would that change your perspective of giving? The Indian spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba states, Service is the highest spiritual discipline. Prayer and meditation, or knowledge of scripture cannot help you reach the goal as quickly as service can. Service has a double effect: it extinguishes the ego and gives bliss."
Giving has always had a greater impact on society. Without giving, do you think we would have the Statue of Liberty? We may not realize it, but everyday, we give something to somebody. Sometimes it can be simple feelings such as joy or anger. Usually when we give, we expect something in return, such as an object or just the good feeling that you get out of sharing.
How would you feel if you gave your most treasured possession to someone and they did not show any sign of affection? A lot of times, we get mad when we don't get the things we think we deserve from giving. But there are others who sacrifice everything they have to help anybody. Take Mother Teresa for example. She took in and helped the poor, the sick, and the wounded. This is called altruism. Altruism is the practice of self-sacrifice.
Without giving, we wouldn’t have wars. Many people think that greed is the cause of war, and it is. But what if the weapon suppliers chose not to give people at war their provisions?
One of many great philosophers, Ayn Rand developed Objectivism, which states that the ultimate moral value is your own self interest. She also rejects altruism because it views self-sacrifice as a moral idea. Selfishness is a virtue, and a truly selfish person is self respecting, self supporting, human being who doesn’t sacrifice others for his own sake or himself to others. She also states that you should give only to those that are dear to you and always expect something in return. Many things wouldn’t have happened without giving. We would not have the many things and ideas which belong to us today about giving. Greed may be good or harmful to our society, but giving almost always surpasses it.

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