Happiness and Money
Can money really buy happiness? Of course it can; or can it? Happiness comes to everyone in different ways; my happiness being different than yours. People who put money before everything else are less happy than those who value love and friends more highly. Also, true happiness is to understand and believe in who you are. Despite money contributing to happiness, money can not buy true happiness. Money can’t buy true happiness because happiness comes from within you, not from anyone or from anything else.
Also, money can’t buy happiness because life really isn’t about who has the fastest car, the most money, the fanciest house, or other material things. In addition, I will convince you that wanting and having material objects and money all have negative affects on humans. Is true happiness really about money, the biggest TV, or a mansion on the beach? Of course true happiness isn’t, it is about that warm fuzzy feeling you get of accomplishment. For example, what is more satisfying, winning a trophy or the memory and the feeling of success you experience from winning?
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The trophy provides you with a sense of temporary happiness, but the pride you receive from winning is ten times more valuable and lasts a lifetime. Why? Simple, material things don’t bring happiness forever, unlike the warm fuzzy feeling you get from the victory. Money can buy material things. These material goods provide temporary happiness. Today, there are more people unhappy because they don’t have money. But, if they really stopped looking around them and looked within they would find happiness. “Counselors routinely report that financial stability is one of the key ingredients of a strong and lasting marriage 1 (Maich, Maclean’s, 28. ”. For example, the divorce rates have steadily increased in the past ten years. A couple’s conflict is often because of money. They are splitting up because they don’t have money. The funny thing is, if they just showed love for each other, they would be much more content and worry free. We’re never satisfied, we always think if we just add a little bit more money or material things we’d be happier. But when we get these things we are still not pleased. It’s natural for humans to want what they don’t have and what they can’t have.
Humans are an adaptable creature, which was a necessity during the ice age and wars; but at this same time, this adaptability is also why humans are never satisfied for long periods of time. Since, we are adjustable we have modified our lives to having money and material things that make us want more and be unappreciative of what we already have. That is not what God intended though, according to the commandment “You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods. ” As humans we aren’t content with what we have, therefore not following that commandment.
Those who have money in today’s society appear to be happier because they have everything money can buy. In fact, they may not be happy because they may have the money, but they may not have love or support. What is the point of having everything when you have no one to share it with? “When you ask people what makes them happy, they rarely mention money. There are volumes of scholarly research, including Firebaugh’s recent study, showing that income pales next to love and good health when it comes to ensuring a happy life 2 (Maich, Maclean’s, 28. ”. People who do not have money, people who don’t have enough money or those who are living in poverty don’t have the funds to stay alive. These people can’t afford the basic essentials to survive. However, some wealthy individuals use, spend, and/or donate their money to those who are less fortunate than them. Though, many people do not share, are greedy, and let others suffer. Donating money is a great way to make other people feel better and live their lives in a more comfortable manner. Having money can make you happy when you donate money.
Donating money increases your happiness because the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you give is better than the feeling you have when you get things. Why are we so caught up in money? We are always comparing ourselves to others and trying to be better than them. But, instead of doing this we should be thankful for our own belongings and not be envious or jealous of our neighbour. At the same time, we should not be greedy and keep everything to ourselves because if we do we are destined for lonely lives. We shouldn’t live our lives only focusing on material things, money, and things we don’t have.
Why? The reason is we need to be thankful for what we have. “Mr. Easterlin’s research had drawn on surveys notably from Japan, where surveys had shown little or no increase in national happiness despite the country’s post-World War II economic miracle 3(The Business Times, 2009). ” “In particular, skeptics point to a groundbreaking study by economist Richard Easterlin, showing that between the 1950s and the 1970s, Japan’s national income increased by ten times, yet average happiness (measured through extensive polling) didn’t budge.
This story is the same in the United States where, in 1993, a professor of psychology named David G. Myers reported that the percentage of people who say they are “very happy” remained unchanged at about 30% between 1960 and 1990, even as inflation-adjusted, after tax incomes more than doubled 4 (Maich, Maclean’s, 28. ). ” In summary, these statements again prove that money doesn’t buy happiness. The media always makes us unappreciative of what we have. Although it is hard to resist temptations we must not be influenced negatively by the media.
The media portrays messages that try and do persuade people to buy products, even though it will only make them happy for a short period of time (like a fad). The media is always describing and showing that having money and material items makes us happy. They do this so the company can make money from you when you buy that material item. Once that temporary happiness is gone from that object, what do you do with it? That’s right you throw it away or forget about it and find something else to make you happy. That is why lifelong happiness is something we all try and achieve.
People in third world countries had never heard of stress, depression or suicide. Why? The reason is simple; they don’t have to worry about how much money they have because they don’t have that much money to begin with. Losing and not having money is one of the greater causes of stress, depression, and the worst case scenario, suicide. Does that mean that people with money are happier? No. Look at Bill Gates, he might have a hundred times more money than the average person, but might be twice as unhappy as those who have less money.
Therefore, the more money we have the unhappier we can be because wanting more can lead to stress, depression or suicide. Again the only thing they had to do to find that happiness was to look within them. If society began to realize their flaws and obsession with money we wouldn’t have a world filled with unhappiness, misery, and jealousy. People are so worried with what they don’t have it causes them more unhappiness. In the economic crisis of today everything that we buy costs us money. Even the basic essentials of life are costing us more money.
For instance, bread, water, food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare are all basic needs that every human should have the right to. But, even in the richest countries (North America) many low income people do not have the ability to meet some of their basic needs because the prices are incredibly high. Many people buy more than they need to meet their basic needs and forget to help those who are not able to meet their basic needs. Humans need to stop being selfish, and start putting others before themselves. Helping others would bring you more happiness than buying things for yourself that you do not need.
In conclusion, happiness may be influenced by money, objects, and/or people, but money can not buy true happiness. The reason for this is because happiness is determined by you and by you alone. Those who spend a lifetime worrying about how much money they have will be less happy than those who find true happiness from within. As a result, those who are in constant search of money are more likely to be the ones who are depressed and live stressful lives. People in today’s society don’t realize it, but the more we have the unhappier we are because we can never get enough of what we don’t need to have happiness.