Can money buy happiness?

Almost everything around you is created with paid labor – your computer, your clothes, and even probably your tree outside. When you have enough money, you can literally buy anything. However, in this materialistic world, it’s not about what you can buy anymore; it’s about what you can’t buy.

If you find philosophical soliloquies boring, this is not the blog post for you.

I was wondering about this question asked my health teacher, Mr. M: Can money buy happiness? As the reclusive recalcitrants in health class, my friends who sat in the back row and I argued flippantly against Mr. M, declaring that ‘heck yes, money can buy happiness.’ What we believed didn’t matter – personally, I did not believe that money could buy happiness – all I wanted to do was make Mr. M’s time as difficult as possible. But now, I am asking myself seriously: Can money buy happiness?

For argument sakes, comfort and satisfaction is the same thing as happiness.

For the layman, the answer is immediately yes. Money can be used to buy personal indulgence which translates into happiness. Bought comfort can make almost any person happy. Good food. Good clothing. Good fun. Yum. However, then I realized that happiness to a meatpacking worker is different to that of an aristocrat; the comfort expected of these two individuals are different. Theoretically, if the meat packing worker won the lottery, he probably would start living a very admirable life. But then his standards of ‘happiness’ would slowly increase until he would achieve no more satisfaction in eating exquisite saltwater lobsters. In that sense, money can only buy immediate happiness.

However, then I realized that there is also happiness that money cannot buy. Love and trust, for example, needs to be seasoned by time. In that sense, showering a little boy to earn his trust might even have a perverse effect; what the little boy needs is some attention and love and care.

The happiness where one spends time to obtain is becoming more and more elusive.

That is all. Money can’t buy the rich kind of happiness.


One thought on “Can money buy happiness?

  1. Darren L Johnson

    From my perspective, the answer to your question is definitely a huge NO.

    Money Can NOT buy happiness. BUT, what is does provide, if you have enough of it, is options.

    The more money one makes, the more options one has to live a chosen life. My philosophy about money is as follows.

    What ever your “way of being,” having more money allows you to live out more ways of being. IN other words, if you are a criminal, more money will allow you to be more creative about being a criminal. If you are a lover, more money will allow you to be more creative about being a lover. If you are truly happy or unhappy, more money will only allow you to be more creative in finding ways to be either happy or unhappy.

    So money does not buy happiness. It allows one to be more creative about being happy – IF – one was happy before one had more money.

    Thanks for your post.


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