Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “How Much Money Does A Man Need?” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “How Much Money Does A Man Need?” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

How Much Money Does A Man Need?


In his famous short story, ‘How much land does a man need ?” Leo Tolstoy describes man’s greed for land. In the end, however, a man requires just six feet of ground for his grave. Similarly, in today’s materialistic world of cut-throat competition, we run after money and, in this mad pursuit, we trample underfoot all our values. Man today has not been able to overcome his greed for money, though he fully knows that he cannot take his money with him when he leaves this world.

Money is a piece of stamped metal or a currency note used in commercial transactions. Now that the barter system has gone out of use, money has assumed importance in daily life. It is essential for working our economy. But amassing riches at the expense of others is a sin. The amount of money that a person possesses through honest earnings should be sufficient to meet his and his family’s basic requirements of food, shelter and clothing, in addition to some savings for a rainy day in order to meet emergencies. Anything over and above that should be held in trust, as Gandhiji advocated. According to Coulborun, “Money is that commodity by the delivery of which debt contracts and price contracts are discharged and by the shape of which a general purchasing power is held.” Money is thus a major catalyst for economic transactions in the world. Its magic power draws everyone like a magnet. A man with money is considered affluent and influential. He is seen to be blessed with happiness.

But riches cannot provide all that a man needs. Money cannot buy happiness or contentment. A person engaged in manual labour or a routine office job may be happier than t billionaire if his life’s needs are adequately met. On the other hand, money is a poor substitute for happiness and contentment. It turns man selfish, greedy, arrogant and callous. A rich person is generally tense and insecure, for happiness is a condition of the mind. Its first essential is “a sound mind in a sound body”. Rich people are often found suffering from many ailments and their life-support system is their family doctor. They cannot enjoy the simple pleasures of life as their senses have been dulled; they react only to money-talk.

The secret of a happy life thus lies in the simplification of our wants and a calm and collected attitude towards life. The reduction of wants makes a person self-supporting for his needs are few, hence not unmanageable. On the other hand, riches give way to endless wants and desires. A rich person feels he can buy the entire world in order to fulfil his wants and desires. Failure to do so leads to unhappiness and frustration.

What an ordinary human being requires is a reasonable standard of living, a roof over his head, two square meals a day for himself and his family, education and healthcare for his children and sufficient savings to tide over difficult times in life. The rest of the money earned by him is superfluous. It gives rise to disease, nervous tension and often leads to a life full of vices. It makes him self-centered to the exclusion of everything else in the world. Such a man becomes the slave of his money.

This does not, however, imply that man should not do anything much in life. He must have a goal to achieve and he must work single-mindedly for achieving that goal. He must overcome failures and obstacles strewn in his path for achieving his cherished ambition in life. Once he has done it, he must devote the rest of his time and energy towards human betterment through philanthropy and social work as Rockefeller, George Soros, the Birlas and the Tatas have done, for man owes a debt to the society he lives in. He cannot be an island unto himself. He will feel at peace only when the people around him lead peaceful and happy lives. For this, a man with superfluous wealth must explore the possibilities of doing good to his fellow human beings for, in Mahatma Gandhi’s words, he is a mere trustee of the wealth that he possesses. The society has entrusted him with wealth so that he can do something to help others and ameliorate their lot. This, a man of money must do, instead of rolling in luxury and making life difficult for those around him.

How much money does a man really need? In order to lead a comfortable life, an average person today must seek to fulfill the emotional, physical and financial needs of himself and his family. The rest he must devote to deserving charities and humanitarian work. This can be done through helping educational institutions and starting scholarships for the needy but deserving children, opening healthcare centres and providing facilities for the poor and the indigent, cleaning his environment, paying his taxes scrupulously and on time, be available to those who seek his help at all hours and pursuing healthy and wholesome activities in his spare time. This will ultimately give him a sense of fulfillment and he will be justified in feeling that his excess money has been put to good use.

A rich man must not extol the virtues of adversity to others because adversity does not necessarily bring out the best in a person. It may lead him to crime and anti-social activities as a consequence of frustration and deprivation in life. A person with surplus wealth must do all he can to minimize adversity among his fellow human beings by providing them with financial help in times of emergency, by providing avenues of gainful employment to the deserving and such other means. Then, his money would be put to good use for the betterment of society. It will lead to much better feeling than self-indulgence that most rich people resort to these days.

We should remember that a well-lived life, not a life full of luxury, is what man wants. Noble actions and good deeds are always remembered. History bears testimony to the fact that only men with a purpose in life have left their mark, and not the countless rich people whose wealth was centred round their own selves. In this context, Free India’s second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s life must be emulated. Coming from a lower middle class set-up, Shastri rose to be the Prime Minister of this country only on account of his noble actions and good deeds, and not because of the riches he possessed or had inherited. So had done Mahatma Gandhi before him. They have amply proved the inadequacy of money as a stepping stone to happiness and immortality.


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