2009 – Most Philosophical 4th Grader in America.

Bernard Witek , New York.

Greed or Giving: Which has a greater impact on scociety?

When I look in the dictionary, I find synonyms for “greed” such as gluttony, voracity, hunger, acquisitiveness, selfishness, or cupidity. And for “giving”, I am also able to locate many of synonyms: bestow, donate, present, contribute, generous, philanthropic, kind or charitable.

I found very interesting the word “charitable” because it derives from the Latin word “caritas” which means, “giving with love”.
In the society we see both features: people who wants more and more and hide what they have, on the other hand, people who are sharing their time, things and time with others. Each of us wants to have more and more things. Most of us enjoy collecting different objects of items like shells, rocks, baseball cards, and stamps. To be fair I need to say that giving away and sharing with others also gives pleasure especially to the person who gives.

Looking at people at large, I think greediness makes more impact on society than giving, although it is negative impact. Why? If everyone is selfish, and does not want to share anything that the person has, building community, colony, village or town is not possible. First of all, if you have a lot of things and you don’t share them with people that don’t have much of them, what’s the point of having so many items?
Because everyone has something different to offer such as talents, skills, or abilities, if they are not shared with others, they become useless. The society suffers greatly if its members are not contributing to the group or they are only interested in collecting more goodies.

Secondly, if members of a group do not share what they make, the rest of the group cannot get things they need in ordinary daily life. For example, in colonial times if a blacksmith wouldn’t share his metal spears, a whaler couldn’t kill a whale to get resources (oil-used for candles in colonial times) for printers working into midnight without a candle. Just because of greediness one single person, many others can lose their jobs. For example, candle makers would lose their job because they don’t have any oil to make a candle.

Thirdly, building moral values and strong bonds like friendships, courage, responsibility, and sense of unity of the group would be very difficult if not impossible in society when we do not have good examples to follow. it would be especially important for young persons like me, to learn how to become a good person and citizen.

Although greed may be more popular and has more impact on the society, I am opting for learning through giving as a more valuable tool that would help me to become a good man and a valuable member of society.


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