Friday, October 19, 2007

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Growing up I was always aware that my family had less money than other families in our area, but I was also led to believe that I had important things most of those other families didn't have -- music, culture, an appreciation for education and travel, etc. In my grown-up life I have come to appreciate that money *can* by happiness if it means the difference between having my basic needs met or not, but I believe that I can be happy with much less than many other people I know, because I don't put much value on stuff. There is a certain level of comfort that really, truly does make me feel more content. Worrying about whether or not I can pay the rent is *very* stressful and has *definitely* impacted the quality of my life at times. Since living in Palo Alto, I have become uncomfortably conscious of how poor I am -- of all the things I really can't afford that most of the others who live here can. It's hard not to notice just how beat-up and old my car is, my laptop, my clothing... how much nicer I would look if I could afford to spend some money attending to my appearance. Gosh - a new wardrobe, a smart hair cut and dye, a spray tan, liposuction, a facial, a manicure, waxing, a make-over - I'd be a new woman!! And frankly, it makes me *angry* that I've come to value any of those things or think they are in any way important. I *do* need to have my basic needs met. I *need* to be able to pay my bills on time and feed and clothe myself adequately. But, the things I value that I think make me happy are: good health, friendship and laughter, a strong connection with my family, and feeling a sense of purpose -- like I'm doing something in the world that makes a difference - that matters - (or at least is useful). It's easy to forget those things sometimes, but when I do think about it, I feel more clear about where I need to concentrate my energy.

What do you think? Can money buy happiness? What makes you happy?

1 comment:

Jessica Gennaro said...

What can money really buy? It can buy us clothes that can keep us warm for autumn and winter.

Money can also be use for food when we go with our family, friends, spouses or by ourselves. Another is food that keeps us nourished everyday at home. Because of money, we need food that will help us get through the next several days for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and dessert when we're home.

Money can also buy things we like and want such as a DVD player, shoes that we can wear when we dress casual or for church services.

Money can buy us a home or apartment, T.V., books, and supplies for school and work and the list goes on.

It is good to have all of those things, but let's get back to the question what can money really buy?

Can it really buy us these: love? friendship? salvation? happiness?

Money can't buy us love, as the Beatles would say. We can't put a price on love because it's not for sale.

Love is priceless.

Money can't buy us friendship either. If we think that having lots of money means it will lead to popularity and gaining new friends, then we're just kidding ourselves.

Thinking with this mentality will lead to believing that we could buy people's trusts, affections, as well as love.

There are others claiming that they can buy their salvation, meaning we can buy our way into heaven. Well, we can't.

Like love, salvation is also priceless because it can't be bought by money.

What about happiness? Can money really bring happiness into our lives?

There is probably a viewpoint from the world that said having money will make us happy. But the "truth" is false. Money won't lead us to happiness nor can we buy happiness.

If we become so consumed with making money all the time, using it to buy everything we see and holding on to our material possessions, then we'll be empty inside.

There is nothing wrong with having money in our lives. Nor making some either. It is important to support ourselves, our family and our friends financially.

It is also important to have money to keep each other fed, clothed and bathed. However, we still have to be careful on how to deal with money in our lives.

But in the end, it will leave us empty inside our hearts. That leads once again to the question: what can money really buy?