Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Is the equation that simple? The more money that you have, the happier you will be or does the amount of money that one may possess even matter when it comes to happiness? I, for one, truly believe that lack of money creates an insurmountable amount of real stress in real life; however, I also feel that there is not an exact amount that is required for one to say, “I am happy.”

To some people, money can be the root of all evil. After all, there are so many people who will lie, steal, kill, and destroy just to get. But to others, money is just a means to survive.

Society always seems to depict a certain image of not only what “being successful” is but also how one should live…we see this on television [reality TV, etc.] as well as the Internet. So, we oftentimes feel that money is needed to obtain a certain lifestyle but being realistic in life will take you a lot farther than trying to live up to the hype that we see on television.

Do we need money to survive? Yes. Does having a lot of money make life easier? Somewhat. One thing that is inevitable are the obstacles that life throws at us each and every day. I said that, to say this--regardless of the amount of money that you make, you would still face problems like the rest of the world; rather they are rich or poor.

Growing up, I would always hear my elderly family members say, “Money can’t buy you happiness but it sure does pay the bills.” Over many decades, this saying still holds the same validity that it did back then. Money provides a means for living—that’s all; and to place monetary value on such an intangible emotion can be misleading at times.

In society, we have those who are well off financially, those who are barely scraping by, as well as those who aren’t making it from one day to the next but one thing that is for certain is that their levels of happiness are different due to their circumstances of life. For example, people living in 3rd world countries [as we have seen on television] that aren’t provided with the basic necessities of life that we have [food, running water, electricity] are more happy than most of us here in the United States. Why? Because they have found happiness in the smaller things in life like waking up every day, being with their families, being grateful for the help that they receive from other countries. Their happiness holds a more significant meaning that can’t be bought.

Growing up in poverty is a personal experience that most of us can attest to. My mother and father worked tirelessly to make ends meet; yet we still went without A LOT of things. Regardless, we were still happy children for the most part. Yes, our struggles helped shape and mold us into the adults that we are today but I feel like that experience applies to EVERYONE. I feel that problems arise when we look at the lives of others from a financial perspective and compare them to our very own. It is always easier to desire the lives of others but it is more imperative to learn to be happy with your own.

At the end of the day, I guess that it is safe to say that happiness is simply what you define it to be. There is no right or wrong answer as to whether money can buy you happiness or not because everyone’s life experience is different. Some will say that it can, others…not so much. Overall, happiness is something that comes from within…it is an intangible feeling that is elicited from several different stimuli [love, freedom, spirituality as well as money]. I personally believe that you can’t put a price on such things as happiness and love but money can and will always enhance these types of emotions that we can neither see or touch.

The moment that we as a society begin to accept the idea that there is a magical income that maximizes happiness; we will have to deal with the reality that there are millions of people in the world who possess very little but have obtained a great deal of happiness during their pursuit of life. Whether we are rich or poor, one thing that is for certain is that we can’t be buried with the money that we’ve made or saved throughout our lifetime BUT we one thing that we can and will do is reflect on the many memories that made us happy throughout.