Can Money Buy Happiness?
Before presenting arguments and counter arguments on this very intriguing and so-called controversial topic, let us be clear on the two main terms present in the title ‘Can Money Buy Happiness’ which obviously are ‘Money’ and ‘Happiness’.
‘Money’ needs no introduction or definition and without doubt, it might be the most popular word in English vocabulary whose meaning never needs to be searched.
‘Happiness’ is a pleasant, temporary state of mind which might come from different things to different people:
To some, happiness might come from doing something new and exciting such as pursuing a new hobby.
To some, happiness might come from buying or getting something much awaited.
To some, happiness might come from starting their own business.
To some, happiness might come from getting a promotion or salary raise.
To some, happiness might come from sharing their resources with less privileged.
To some, happiness might come from seeing the family members happy which again might come from the above activities.
SOME feel that key to happiness does not lie in money or other material things but in thinking (and being) positive and believing that ‘If you want to feel rich and happy (without money), just count the things you have that money can’t buy.’
OTHERS doubt on existence of any such damn thing in this world which money can’t buy.
SOME keep repeating a self-satisfying phrase saying that ‘There is no need to blindly run after money because after all money is important but not that much important.’
OTHERS are happy to know that at least SOME are not fooling themselves by completely denying the importance of money. At the same time, they are more interested in knowing the exact meaning of ‘that much’.
SOME argue that ‘that much’ in the context means something which is ‘enough to satisfy need but not greed.’
OTHERS want to know the exact difference between need and greed. They argue that buying a vehicle cannot be justified as a need because they believe that ‘Every distance is a walking distance provided someone has time’.
SOME justify what MasterCard in its famous tagline said that ‘There are some things in the world that money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s MasterCard.’
OTHERS have their own tagline saying that ‘There are some things in the world that money can’t buy DIRECTLY, everything else can be bought DIRECTLY.’
SOME argue by quoting famous dialogs from movies saying that ‘Money can buy you food, but not hunger…’ and so on.
OTHERS have a counter-question asking ‘What to do if you are hungry without enough money to satiate that hunger?’
Whatever ‘SOME’ and ‘OTHERS’ feel, the important question is ‘In order to be happy, should we compare ourselves to the people below (in wealth) than us or with the people above (again in wealth) than us’?
Going extreme on either side might be problematic. If we compare ourselves to the people below us, then we might always remain satisfied but might never progress in life. If we compare ourselves to the people above us, we might eventually land below in an attempt to go above.
Oh! This is going to be a never-ending discussion. So let us conclude by asking a few questions to ourselves,
- Is it true that ‘If presence of money does not make a man feel happy, then lack or absence of money can definitely make a man feel unhappy?’
- Is it true that ‘Even though money can buy happiness, it cannot be the only (and always direct) source of happiness?’
I don’t have answers. It’s open for comments.
*: Above discussion does not cover or apply to those people who are permanently happy and that too without any money!