Mencius declared that profit was a bad thing
Two millennia ago, Mencius declared that profit was a bad thing. Describe the two opposing views on the question of money versus morality. Which do you think better describes Chinese culture as you know it? According to the conversation of Mencius and the King Hui of Liang, it was quite obvious telling that Mencius believed that a person’s motivation was what mattered. The best specific example of Mencius’ stress on the importance of motives is the idea of profit. He was highly suspicious of anything done with the goal of profit in mind.
He also believed that money and morality should not go together in name, since there must exist an area of where you would lose ‘benevolence’ of the sake of money. However, Mencius never said that it was wrong or bad to profit. He only said that one should not “say” (not “speak of” or “mention”) the word “profit. ” For example, if the King emphasized profit in what his mottos (even if it is the profit of his state rather than his personal profit), this will encourage other people to overemphasize profit and material, and this will be unprofitable itself.
Mencius is opposed to profit, he believed that the effort to aim at profit directly to take profit as your primary goal, will fail. He vigorously opposed righteousness to utility, advantages, and profit. He wanted to overcome the “way of a despot,” or the way of force, by the “kingly way,” or the way of moral power. Therefore, I personally think that Morality is one important element in the Chinese culture from many years ago until now. However, this is only the ‘image’ that Chinese people want to create and to maintain.
Deep down, profits make them forget about the most basic of ‘morality’. In real life, I seldom find the motto of morality stemming firming inside the soul of Chinese people. Nowadays, we see many tragedies happen in Hong Kong and in mainland China; most cases are about financial problems in a family as they seem to be having a hard time for living. In our society, rich people become wealthier everyday and poor people become worse and worse on the other hand.
The worst part is that, most rich family do not see morality and communication within family is important today, people seems to use up all their time and energy to make more money even if it is to give up their family and morality. For example, people used to treat marriage so seriously, but now, we hear everyday not only from the news, also from self-gathering experience that, the divorce rate is indeed increasing. The reason behind is that when people become richer, their brains are washed away by money. They do not think anything else in their life is important even their family.
They choose to have an affair, one night stand etc, just to show that they have the ability to be involved in those kinds of activities. The worst thing is that “profit” can take away one’s esteem, principle and even dreams. To me, to have a better standard of living for oneself and family is important, but money can not buy Morality and happiness. Asian people should try to improve their sensitiveness to their “living” surrounding such as, family, the world, society, children and elderly people, instead of over-emphasizing the power of money.