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Chapter 4 Money and Possessions:

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1 Chapter 4 Money and Possessions:
Happiness is not for Sale

2 Section One: “Putting Money in Its Place” (Pages 67—70)
1. What is meant by an accurate sense of perspective about money and possessions? It means regarding money and possessions from a healthy, objective distance so that we can sort out what is enough from what is excessive. 2. What needs are included in the basic requirements for living a decent, dignified life? Survival needs like food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, and thrival needs such as education, transportation, entertainment, provision for the future, and so on. 3. What usually motivates people to have more money than is needed for the basics? Choices, pleasure, and power are the usual motivators for having more money than is needed for the basics. We should be cautious about these motivators because they cannot buy us lasting happiness.

3 Section Two: “ The Pitfalls of Possessing” (Pages 71—76)
1. To what does Jimmy Carrasquillo attribute his confusion Having his priorities “screwed up” and being greedy. 2. What is greed? How does it perpetuate itself? Greed is the insatiable desire to acquire more and more. Greed signals that a person’s “soul needs” are not being met. Without recognizing the true cause of her/his sense of neediness, the person turns to material things to fill the void s/he feels. Because material possessions can never fill a void in a soul, the sense of emptiness grows and the person desperately tries to fill the hole by acquiring more. Thus greed perpetuates itself.

4 3. Describe the vicious cycle created by equating our social image with our self-worth.
Buying makes me feel important. When I make a high-status purchase, my ego feels a boost. If spending fifty dollars feels good, spending on hundred dollars will make me feel even better, and so on. The trouble is that if we equate self-worth with socially approved consumer items, we will always feel less than adequate. There will always be something bigger, brighter, and newer to buy!

5 4. How are compulsive spenders not free?
People who spend compulsively are not fee because they are addicted to spending. Addiction and compulsion are the opposite of freedom—the ability to ponder, reflect, question, decide, and act responsibly. 5. How does buying on credit contribute to the loss of true freedom? A mature, free person is able to wait for pleasure if necessary. Buying on credit contributes to the loss of true freedom because it makes immediate gratification possible and can thus trap people into a “I want what I want when I want it” attitude.

6 6. Describe the typical thinking and motivation of problem gamblers.
Problem gamblers start gambling out of a desire to make money and have some fun, but then they get addicted to the rush of gambling and are propelled by living on the edge. Section Three: “ The Pitfalls of Possessing” (Pages 77—83) 1. Summarize the perspective on money and possessions given by Saints Paul and James in their Epistles. Saints Paul and James share a deep distrust of money an possessions and recognize the dangers associated with them. riches are often gained at the expense of the poor, and pre- occupation with wealth can lead to a false belief that we have control of life, which can take us away from God, our true source of ultimate security and freedom.

7 2. Explain this statement: The right to own private property is not an absolute right.
The right to private property is not an absolute right because what we own is lent to us by God so that we may tend it for the good of all. We are not free to use our possessions in ways that hurt other people or the earth. 3. List four guidelines that summarize Christian teaching on how to handle money and possessions. 1. Celebrate the Creator’s gift. 2. Remain free. 3. Share generously and cheerfully. 4. Live simply.

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