Saturday, May 3, 2008

Is there a link between Money and Happiness??

Happiness is a state of mind and it sure is not dependent on money. Look at that child outside, he is so happy playing in the mud or the sprinkler or just swinging or sliding in the park. This is inherently who we are. Nobody needs a billion dollar to be happy. At the most basic level, if we are in touch with our real self and can allow ourselves to let lose sometimes and enjoy the nature outside, or listen to our favorite music or just immerse ourselves in a good book, we are at the best of spirit and feel happy and liberated. Unfortunately, growing up, the definition of happiness changes as the detachment with inner core start taking place and we start desiring or striving for the materiality of the world. Liberation of mind or soul becomes an alienated concept then.

Then what is the real link between money and happiness? Is it true that the rich are really unhappy? Let's check out some interesting facts: USA the 10th richest country in the world is ranked 150th out of 178 countries. United Arab Emirates, the 5th richest country with per capita GDP of $49,700 is ranked 154th on the Happy Planet Index

http://www.happyplanetindex.org/list.htm

Having said that; we cannot either deny that money is an important aspect of our lives. We are not talking of more or less here. But everybody needs the sufficient amount of money according to their means to live a comfortable life. Theory of marginal utility comes into play when we are talking of whether after a certain amount, after fulfilling the needs, that extra dollar or rupee will make any difference or not. But unfortunately, the large sections of our society do not get to that point in a life time. We are not talking about the Trumps or Mittals here. For an average middle class, having a home, a car, savings for the retirement and sufficient funds to be able send the kids to college are the most basic needs. And in order to fulfill them they work throughout their lives, often sacrificing on spending that quality time with their family due to the unique circumstances they face.For that type of an average family, not having money or enough money will be a cause of unhappiness and frustration.

Certain jobs demand people to work in tough conditions such as in shipping. Freezing weather and the turbulent ocean of Baltic are just a few challenges to mention. Are they happy doing that? Most likely the answer will be in negative, but they do that anyway because of the obvious reason. Financial security and financial freedom are definitely very important to an average person. Practically in fact our mind is never at peace if we don’t have a secure life financially. I am not talking about buying a Gucci handbag or visiting Switzerland for a vacation. Well better still!!

Success often means material success. At the college placement, the person who has the biggest smile and adorns the most confident demeanor is someone who got the biggest pay packet. People working on Wall Street do not have any time for their family or worse even for themselves, but talk to them, not even one single person would consider quitting for lesser salary but more comfortable life and time for themselves. Money presumably becomes a source of bringing happiness for those who get so used to it.

Hence, although we cannot really do without the money either, but that ever increasing mad rush running after it often reminds me of that quote:

It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy. ~George Horace Lorimer





1 comment:

Sourabh said...

yaa...if we measure money to happiness and if we were to find out who is happiest person on this earth ....the obvious answer would be Bill gates...which is not the case.....

the case is what is mentioned in this article...of course we need to give a thought to it...well written article bahin...