The MelanKoliK AlKoholiK on happiness in relation to wealth

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 16th Jan 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

Today we speak of happiness and to be specific, if whether it can be brought via material wealth or if there is more to life than just money.

The MelanKoliK AlKoholiK on happiness in relation to wealth

Happiness. The ultimate goal for most people, the feeling of ultimate emancipation and content with one’s life. Very few people get to say that they have experienced true happiness (not the kind you get from physical pleasure) where your very soul is bursting with joy. Because of the cold nature of the world in that it is survival of the fittest and that the current trading manner is monetary, it is lead to believe by people on television and in part our financial problems that money does indeed guarantee happiness. Is this actually true? What would people from the days where money was not in effect say regarding this topic (if any of them are alive in this day and age)? Is happiness based on materialistic things or is happiness an abstract concept where the material world cannot apply?

Psychologists have spent years studying the relation between wealth and happiness and have concluded that wealth does in fact increase human happiness when it lifts people out of poverty and into the middle class of life. You can only imagine the joy it would bring a person who struck the lottery, Jesus that guy would be smiling for the rest of his or her life. It is undeniable the effect that wealth can have on a person’s happiness logically leading to the idea that based on today’s value system, money can buy you happiness.

Wealth can buy security which is a human essential, it can buy lifelong experiences that you will never forget (hence the lifelong), it can buy fun which can instantly make anyone happy, it can buy indulgence without consequence for the rebel and douchebag within us, and can lead you to meet the spouse of your dreams. While wealth cannot buy love, it can sure as hell make it. One only needs to look at the many million and billionaires who married spouses who wouldn’t exactly fit them according to society’s standards but they make it work with the help of the wealth available to them.

To prove this, a celebrity being interviewed on TV was reflecting on their life. He spoke of starting out living at a flat above a fish and chips place, had to get a bus to work and had to make his wife find work. When he hit the big time, he spoke of having multiple houses all over the world, multiple cars and all types of women that he could get. When asked if he was happy, to quote his response: “”You bet your life I am fucking happy!” If that is not self-explanatory that wealth can indeed buy happiness, then I give up on you, please stop reading (just kidding, please continue reading).

To quote another well-known saying, “The man who has the money makes the rules.
The best things in life are free and the second best are expensive. If you think money can’t buy happiness, then you don’t know where to shop

The basic needs of humans are food, water and sex (pardon the bluntness). All of these things can be bought with money. Money affects careers, relationships, choices and our attitude to people around us. People will feel satisfaction from getting the best of the best with the help of money because the satisfaction of these items being prestigious and expensive make us happy knowing we are better off than others.

Happiness is a feeling and in any case, even if the happiness does run out, it is due to human senses being dulled due to getting everything you ever wanted so now as a result, you will be bored.

While it varies from person to person, for most people, happiness is synonymous with freedom. Because wealth can grant you financial freedom and give you the freedom of independence and the freedom of choice, a person would be inclined to agree that wealth can buy you happiness.

However, wealth shouldn’t be the base of your entire existence and to add to that, money might be able to buy short term happiness but eventually your heart will long for more and realise that there are a lot more important things in life. Wealth cannot buy family or love, but a person cannot live without them (but they can try). Wealth can buy the best beds in the history of existence but wealth cannot buy sleep. Wealth can buy the best houses but it can never buy a home, which is one of the most important things to have in life as a person.

Wealth only makes life easier to live than living without it or living on less.

While it can bring fleeting moments of happiness, wealth can only be used in terms of material things. An argument can be made that wealth can’t be used to gain love or inner peace or emancipation.

The problem with wealth is that it eventually runs out and forces people to be greedy and self-serving. When wealth is used in such a manner to gain happiness, it works in the same way as a drug. This is shown when we find ourselves needing more and more of it to stay happy. As a result, the happiness is not true and lasting but is happiness based on materialistic ideals instead of being content with life regardless of being wealthy or not.

Once wealth runs out, we are again on the pursuit of happiness through the means of wealth which can continue endlessly and take over your life. When a person doesn’t get the wealth to gain materialistic happiness, they become unhappy. This is ironic is the sense that the pursuit of happiness via wealth can result in unhappiness.

Another point that proves this is that while wealth allows people to experience the best things that life has to offer, it also undermines their ability to appreciate the little pleasures of life. For example, once you have drank the world’s most expensive wine, doing it all the time will not give you the same happiness that you experienced the first time drinking it.

Trying to buy happiness is almost like a dog trying to catch its own tail, it can never happen (unless the dog has a deadly long tail).

I guess that at the end of the day, we need to look at what happiness and wealth represents to us as people.

In closing, to quote Denis Whatley: “Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude”.


Happiness, Money, Wealth

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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