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INTOTHEBEST Scholarship Winner

Class of 2006
Congratulations to Lisa Trainor from Florida State University

Scholarship Essay Question

Why does wealth color our view of people?

  Lisa's Essay

Wealth is an alluring term. It brings to mind images of limousines, jewels, and luxury. Is it any wonder that people equate wealth with power, success, and popularity? For these reasons, wealth colors our perceptions of people. Everyone wants at least a little power. The idea of giving orders instead of following them appeals to everyone. Small children delight in getting what they want, and so do their parents. If having a wealthy friend will allow them to share in, or at least observe, such influence, people will want such associates. Thus, when one knows a client or peer is “loaded,” he/she is more likely to overlook their faults than if they were in a lower tax bracket. Success is also equated with wealth, and thus changes how a person is viewed. A successful person is someone who “beat the system” and made it to the top. Such people are often seen as role models or almost as instruction manuals to be used on our own climb up the ladder of society. Poor men and women, perhaps even of better character and accomplishments, are overlooked and considered unsuccessful. This is not fair or right, but is the norm because of the blinding effect of wealth. In high school, the “rich kids” were almost always popular, and everyone tends to carry this bias into the world at large after graduation. Since the times of the early church favoritism of the rich occurred. Paul wrote of it in one of his letters to the Corinthian church. Since the wealthy have always been made much of, people tend to see them in a different light. They put them up on a pedestal and then spend precious time straining to climb up beside them. Wealth colors our perceptions of people because we equate it with influence, achievement, and acceptance. Since everyone wants to obtain these three goals, we flock to those who we believe have them. It is because our society has a skewed view of these qualities that wealth changes how we look at and more importantly treat people.

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