Word Press gives out suggestions on what to blog about and this topic is one of theirs from awhile back. I thought I would take a run at it and see what I could come up with; who knew that this would be so difficult. I think it’s because I don’t have a good handle on what happiness is. So let’s start with a definition of the word, happiness. The Encarta Dictionary says, “Feeling or showing pleasure, contentment or joy.” The Thesaurus lists contentment, pleasure, gladness, cheerfulness, joy, glee, bliss, and delight as some synonyms. I guess their editors don’t have a good handle on what happiness is either.
I suppose it is different for different people. I guess money can buy you happiness if your definition of happiness includes financial security, paid up bills and food in your larder. That’s part of my definition. Another part of my definition is a good book. Money can buy books, good or bad. Money can also make it possible for me to sit and write.
Some people see happiness as the freedom from pain. Money can buy you drugs to ease your pain, but is that really happiness? What happens when the drug wears off? If your pain is chronic, you have to buy more drugs and then you have the problem of what happens when you run out of money? You are miserable and broke. Perhaps it would be better to spend your money on finding the cause of your pain, as well as the drugs to ease it, assuming it’s a physical pain from disease or injury. Mental pain is something else entirely. Then you are only giving your money to a psychologist.
So that’s what it is for someone who hasn’t got any money. Those that have money or rather, those who have a lot of money have a different take on it. To them, money makes them unhappy because they are spending a lot of time making more of it, or trying to keep what they have of it. There are always people out there trying to relieve them of some of it, con artists, thieves and even family members. Having a lot of money brings its own set of problems.
It’s the age-old problem of the Haves vs. the Have-Nots. The Have-Nots always want what the Haves have and the Haves rarely want to share with the Have-Nots. That’s why communism failed in the old Soviet Union. They made their entire country into Haves, who didn’t have what people in other countries had, which made them Have-Nots. Have-Nots always want what the Haves have and that’s the root of all human misery. Money will never change that. Humans always want what they don’t have. Even if you have a ton of money, you still want more. It seems to be hard-wired into us. Having or not having money won’t change that. In the end, money can’t buy you happiness, but at least it can make you comfortable in your misery.