“Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy”. Notice that “happiness” is within the range of “contentment” to “intense joy. ” Every single thing in the world which brings contentment or joy costs money and therefore, it is money which brings happiness. Nothing can be yours without money being spent either by the person experiencing this happiness, or by others spending money so that they can be happy.
For example, even people who are contented with sustenance and covering will realize that both food and shelter costs money. Turn on the news and watch people dying of starvation, do they look happy? They appear to be quite sad. When the worms of hungry brought on by extreme poverty are eating at people, they tend to smile less. I certainly don’t see them laughing and see their bones coming out of their chests. How many homeless people do we find acting extremely overjoyed? Not many.
You can’t be truly happy if you are constantly worried about what to eat and where to shelter or what to wear and if you can’t afford such things it is natural to worry. People say a very rich people can be unhappy, but surely it wasn’t having money that made the rich people unhappy because thousands of quite happy individuals are rich, even amongst the very religious. Just because money brings happiness doesn’t entail that once you have money there will not also be sources of sadness and misery that can rob us of that happiness.
I think we need to establish the fact that there is more than one source of happiness, so let’s not get into this nonsense about happiness coming only from God or religion. For example marriage is a source of happiness and many husbands can testify that their wives make them happy but this doesn’t mean they can’t get sick and that sickness can burden the family and bring a measure of sadness. If this rich guy used his money wisely, it would not become a source of unhappiness for him, just as we have to use all other things in life wisely to derive the most joy from them.
So if a man doesn’t treat his wife well, she might make him very unhappy in the long run, he must use his money to his best physical, financial, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual advantage but such cannot be done unless one has the money to begin with. Many religions claim to get happiness from God, but let’s be realistic, they need money to buy clothes to wear, perfume to put on, deodorant, pay for hair-styling and so on. Everybody needs money to pay their utility bills so they can bathe and be fresh.
Without money religions couldn’t fund their preaching work and so people wouldn’t learn about God in order to draw close to Him and without money they would have no buildings for worship. So let’s be realistic, even religion cost’s money so even the happiness that comes from religion must be bought. Thus, money buys happiness. Marriage brings happiness but the rings must be bought. The wedding is an expensive affair and all the things we like, favorite foods, movies, music, sports, all costs money.
We tend to feel better psychologically when we have money in our hands than when we are broke. Sure there are some poor people who appear to be quite satisfied with life but really even the little they do have costs money. There is some level of money they must have in order to maintain that happiness. This essay isn’t about if being “rich” makes you happy but rather if “money” brings happiness. Whatever it is you want to achieve in life to make you happy, you need money to get there like in my case of going to World-Mun and without that amount of money, you can’t be happy.
Even if anybody could show us that there are people who can be happy without money, this would not prove that money is not a source of happiness. To illustrate, surely there are many single people who are happy does that mean that marriage is not a source of happiness? No. One thing is for sure poorness doesn’t bring happiness at all. A husband and wife bickering over how to spend their last hundred dollars is not what I would call a happy marriage. People say money is just paper with something printed on it but so are books and yet look at how much joy people get out of reading novels, poetry books, comics, and the list goes on.
When a man writes a letter back home to his wife saying “I’m coming home tomorrow” after a long business trip, she smiles with joy that paper with something printed on it sure did make her happy likewise money too may just be paper and ink but when a man hands a check donation of one million dollars over to the orphanage I’m sure everyone is quite happy and when a man wins the lottery I’m sure it makes him quite happy. Rich people complain “Everyone pretends to love me but they love my money” it is like saying that we should strive to be poor so that people won’t pretend to be our friends?
I’m sure that if anyone were to ask a set of 1000 very rich people how happy they were and 1000 poverty stricken, homeless, hungry, sick people who happy they were on a scale of 1 to 10 the rich would definitely fair better in terms of who is happier. We see poverty ridden people on TV who are unhappy because they don’t have money. It is due to their misuse of their own freewill but what is the guarantee that after getting food and shelter they will become happy? Then unhappiness will come in some different form.
When a homeless man gets the money to buy his own home he experiences the joy and peace of knowing his homelessness will soon be over and his anxiety disappears. When a starving man on the street finds a hundred dollar bill he smiles with the joy and fantasy of what he will buy and how long he’ll try and make it last. Some of the happiness that comes from possessing money can be: (1) The possession of money in itself even before one buys anything with it relieves stress. When struggling to pay bills people tend to be more sensitive and even trivial things (like a bit too much salt in the food) are enough to set an fire into an argument.
There is relaxation, peace of mind that comes from being able to pay your bills (just the “ability”) to pay them alone knowing you don’t have to worry about money. (2) Money creates financial opportunities. When we have lots of money we are quick to invest in different things. Just thinking about my coming financial security being able to do what I want, when I want, brings joy. Money gives us opportunities and freedom of action and that freedom, the “ability” (just knowing) we can do X or Y if we so desire is a source of comfort, and joy, and peace of mind. 3) Money creates moments. Just think of the people dying in hospital because they can’t afford certain operations. Now tell them you will donate the money right away and tell me they won’t be happy to hear that news. If you give them the money the mere possession of that money will make them happy because of what they will do with it. Stress and fear of death will be relieved from them because of the security that money promises. A man in fear of death or debt ceases to be afraid when he has the needed money even before he actually cures the illness or clears he debt.
There is an intense emotional response that comes from possession of money because of its value and what can be achieved with it in this world. We all need different amounts of money to be happy for some its lots, for others it’s little. Interesting how people argue about the moments before death how money can’t bring happiness. Tell that to the sick people who need that money for medication or operations to save their lives. Even if they will take a year to get the treatment the mere fact they have the money to afford it will bring them greater joy and less stress for that year.
In my essay I never claimed rich people are the happiest for I never claimed they are not greater sources of happiness out there than money. Just because married people aren’t the happiest people on earth does that prove marriage can’t bring happiness? Marriage and money bring happiness even if other things do a better job of making one happy. My argument is against those who claim money can’t make you happy at all. How does one measure happiness anyway? What is your definition of “happiest”?