By Matthew Zacher ’18
Former President Barack Obama says that “money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.”
At a Jesuit school like Brophy, we learn that a life devoted only to the accumulation of wealth is dangerous. The key word here is only.
Money cannot be our only our only aim, but it should be a means by which we can transform the world.
The fact is that without a booming economy with individuals and households earning wealth, excess resources could not be shared.
Americans donated a total of $390 billion in 2016, according to the Almanac of American Philanthropy.
This money, which is equal to roughly two percent of the US’s world-leading $19 trillion Gross Domestic Product, allows us to continue advancing as a society, finding cures for diseases, education for the underserved, meals for the hungry, job training, and countless other noble causes.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the US government spends $49 billion in foreign aid each year, providing military, security, and humanitarian assistance to underdeveloped countries around the globe.
It is clear, both throughout the globe and at home, the offering of financial resources provides much needed advancement and relief.
However, it is important that the ease with which checks can be written and money electronically transferred does not lead to complacency.
Donations are not enough to change the world’s current condition of unfairness and economic lopsidedness.
The world is craving people of good will who will spread to the margins of our world and strive for structural change in forgotten communities.
Yet, individuals like Father Greg Boyle, S.J. of Homeboy Industries, Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J. of the Kino Border Initiative, and even Mr. Tim Broyles here at Brophy with the Family to Family Foundation that provides scholarships for students in rural El Salvador, rely on generous contributions from people with a concern for improving the world.
Not everyone can be a social worker, a priest or a member of the Peace Corps, but everyone has the ability to work hard and invest part of their income toward improving the community.
Money has the ability to corrupt us; it is important that we resist the temptation of greed, to recognize the privilege many of us enjoy, and work to become the best, most successful versions of ourselves, all with the hope of using our positions, talents and resources to create a more just and sustainable world.