We’ve all heard that “money can’t buy happiness” ad nauseam. Now a study says it can.
In a social psychology class during undergrad we were taught that in general money does not make one happier, with the exception of wealth providing you with basic needs, and helping to fulfill significant life dreams that are in line with one’s core values.
A recent study claims that money can also buy happiness in the sense that it provides some sense of control in cases of disaster or material loss. If you can’t replace your wrecked car, you may be less happy than the person who can afford a new one. Reading further in the article, it says that what really matters is one’s perception that they have an adequate amount.
- The wealthy, the big businesses, etc. who are driven to always have more may never be able to rest. They may never feel secure. In fact, that sense of material security is indeed false and ephemeral, according to Buddhist teachings. This is also part of the reason for my disdain for capitalism. A free market may be better than s*cialism, but ultimately it runs on greed, fear, and insecurity. You can argue the “lesser of two evils” idea, but it is still evil, in the sense that it ultimately leads to suffering.
- In order to be free from this suffering, and be happier, we should learn to find this security and peace with what we already have. Want more? Great, but don’t seek more for the purpose of being happier. In the best case it will provide some temporary dopamine-laced thrills which will eventually die and a new fix will be needed.
- All that being said, I am loving my new iPhone. Hypocrisy abounds!
What do you think? How is your happiness related to your bank account? At what point do you stop and decide that you have enough?