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Money's Role in Happiness

Does money truly buy happiness?

The first thing I learned about this question was that, similar to most philosophical questions, the answer is fully dependant on; where you were raised, your family life, the friends you surround yourself with and your own experiences. At first, I looked at this question as having a simple answer. Yes. I showed it to my friends, house mates, family and they concluded with the same answer. Although, there were some with the opposite answer, which we will explore their reasoning further in this article.

Does it?

We will first investigate how money does buy happiness:

“The only source of knowledge is experience”- Albert Einstein

Experiencing the world, meeting people from different walks of life, exchanging advice will teach lessons that will in turn make you more grateful for areas of your own life. The opportunity to travel is usually in exchange for money, therefore wealth can open doors to new people and adventure.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine

Education is a key tool in allowing people to learn how to understand others better, create new ideas, and help to improve people’s quality of life. The mental health foundation claims that supporting others with kindness can improve “mood, self-esteem and happiness”. Money is a huge factor in the quality of education that a person acquire. Therefore, one can buy the knowledge that a person can use to make the world a better place.

Furthermore, people can lose their happiness through lack of health – a difficulty felt considerably worse by those who do not have the luxury of free healthcare. “In 2020, 31.6 million (9.7%)”- Cha and Cohen, 2022 did not have health insurance in the USA. If a person is diagnosed with cancer, without insurance they could be facing bills of $10,000 to $200,000 for treatment. Having money to afford this astronomical price will increase chances of winning this dangerous battle with cancer.

Therefore, being financially stable can not only open doors to new experiences, but also save lives.

Maybe not?

Nevertheless, the statement that money doesn’t buy happiness is preached by many others.

“Life isn’t about money, it’s about moments.” David Castain

These happy moments are created with elements that are completely free. Spending time with loved ones, learning through their experience, simply laughing with them, can give people tremendous amounts of happiness. People who you love can provide advice, a sense of belonging and comfort, which are the key components that joy is reliant upon.

The road to acquiring a substantial income and financial stability comes with many sacrifices, especially happiness.

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs

This means that although a job may pay substantially, loving what you do day-to-day will fill you with more satisfaction. Time spent waiting for the day to end causes mental exhaustion, some would argue that nothing is worth wasting the time that could be spent with family, making memories.

As well as buying things that can make someone happy, money can also be a tool to buy harmful and damaging things such as recreational drugs and misuse of alcohol. Having more disposable income can lead to having more opportunity to spend on these lethal substances. Therefore, money can also open the door to addiction, leading to more life-threatening health conditions. A hefty income can be lifechanging in more ways than one.

The answer...

My opinion, along with everyone else in the world, is completely dependant on my experiences with money, my family, and the values I hold most important. The conclusion I made was that the answer is a combination of the two arguments.

“In today’s world, money is like oxygen - lack of oxygen can kill you, so can too much of it.” Abhijit Naskar

Therefore, to lead a life of health, stability, and comfort: money is absolutely vital. When a large some of money is earned, being grateful for what that money has provided will ensure that happiness is long lasting. Spending money on experiences, opportunities and education determine the amount of happiness that a person can maintain.

The 735 billionaires in the world have the power to provide happiness to those who are substantially less fortunate. It is their responsibility to ensure that they learn lessons of gratitude through their opportunities experiencing new perspectives of life, so that their wealth is not wasted. Allocating money wisely will provide happiness to all persons involved.

What do you think?

  • 0%Money does buy happiness!

  • 0%Money does NOT buy happiness!

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