Money and Happiness
In my first post, I dealt with a topic that had more to do with free will. In truth, I wanted to talk about whether we had the right to choose to be happy or not; which in itself ties into free will, but I didn’t know if getting into the topic would be considered metaphysical.
“Happiness is Pleasure; all things are to be done for the sake of the pleasant feelings associated with them” Epicurus
Happiness. What is happiness? Is it a state of mind, is it a feelings, is it a purpose?
The idea of “Happiness” has always caused excessive thinking in my mind. Happiness is a concept that we all strive for, but rarely seem to be satisfied with our results. As human beings we have been programmed to want the most amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain. Our entire lives are based on the things we like and want; things we receive pleasure from. Naturally, that means we strive for things that cause us happiness. Although this is true, why aren’t we always happy?
Well, the great philosopher Epicurus and Dan Gilbert gave me an answer I’m satisfied with.
They both stated that when it comes to money and happiness, the difference in happiness between a person that cannot meet their basic needs with their income are exponentially unhappier than those that can. For example, someone that has a $5000 per year income compared to one that earns $50000 a year the difference is huge. Yet when you compare a person that earns around a million dollars a year and a person that earns fifty-thousand the contrast in happiness is minimal.
The main reason I’m so intrigued by this is because our society and culture is so driven by money that we overlook all aspects of our lives for it. Could it be that we’re looking in the wrong places for happiness?