Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable.
~ Clare Boothe Luce
IF MONEY DOESN’T BUY HAPPINESS . . . DOES POVERTY?
People who declare, “Money doesn’t buy happiness” have already concluded they will never have money.
This old equivocation becomes the torchbearer to their poorness. And since money doesn’t buy happiness, why save it?
And then logic begs, if money doesn’t buy happiness, does poverty? Does the guy who owns a Ferrari automatically have a small penis while the guy behind the wheel of a Honda must be well hung?
Go to Google and search the phrase “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” Page after page concludes that money has no bearing on happiness. Should you be shocked that a Connecticut businessman earning a six-figure salary might be unhappier than a cattle-herder in Kenya?
That fact is, these analyses fall short because they don’t isolate the real thief of happiness: servitude, the antithesis of freedom.
The irony is that when most people earn “more money,” it doesn’t add freedom, it detracts. By creating Lifestyle Servitude, more money becomes destructive to the wealth trinity: family, fitness, and freedom.
According to Creighton University’s Center for Marriage and Family, debt is the leading cause of strife for the newly married. Debt and Lifestyle Servitude keeps people bound to work and unbound to relationships.
A 2003 World Value Survey found that the happiest people in the world have a tight sense of community and strong family bonds. After basic needs are met (security, shelter, health, food), our happiness quotient is most significantly impacted by the quality of our relationships with our partners, our family, our friends, and ourselves.
If we are too busy chasing the next greatest gadget to strike down the competitive opulence of the Joneses, we finance our misery.
The World Value Survey concluded that “consumerism” is the leading obstacle to happiness.
The fact is, there are many millionaires and well paid career folks who are absolutely miserable, and it has nothing to do with the money.
It has to do with their freedom.
Money owns them, instead of them owning their money. The well salaried workaholic who is never home to strengthen the relationship with his wife and kids is likely to be less happier than the poor farmer in Thailand who spends half his day tending to his fields and the other half with his family.
In 2009, the popular American talk show host David Letterman went public with an extortion plot by a producer from another CBS show. The man who perpetrated the alleged $2 million blackmail scam reportedly earned $214,000 a year. Yet the man claimed to be in severe financial ruin, partly due to spousal alimony payments of nearly $6,000 per month.
Was this extortionist trying to blackmail a celebrity because he wanted to “buy happiness?” What was his real motive?
I contend that he was trying to buy freedom because his debts kept him contained in servitude. Would $2 million have made a difference? Perhaps in the short term, but not in the long term because his relationship with money was already corrupted.
A source close to the investigation said, “He just didn’t want to work anymore.” In other words, he craved freedom.
Freedom is a component to wealth and happiness.
Those who live freer will be happier. Those who have stronger bonds with their communities and families will be happier. Those with health will be happier.
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