Some people believe that wealth is the key to happiness, while others believe that life is about more than money. The phrase “money makes the world go round” is a statement that confirms we live in a material world. People work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day in the pursuit of wealth, but does wealth always equate to happiness? Is it possible for people who live in poverty to be happy? Is it possible for money to bring happiness? It’s a question that’s frequently asked in music, movies, novels, and other areas of life, and different people have different answers. The response individuals provide usually tells a lot about the type of individuals they are and what they hold dear in life. It is irrefutable that money is an essential aspect of modern life owing to the fact that it helps us meet basic needs, notwithstanding money doesn’t hold the key to happiness in life. Riches are a significant aspect of life since they offer sustenance and enable us to afford basic needs, notwithstanding, amassing riches does not bring long-term satisfaction and happiness in life and even the poor can experience happiness since there is more to life than money.
Can Money Buy Happiness?
Does the financial rift between the rich and the poor determine who leads a happy life and who remains depressed and stressed? It is somewhat difficult to state with surety whether or not money is the key to happiness, specifically since happiness is an emotion and is extremely difficult to determine. Individuals usually pursue happiness with the aim of offering a better life for their family, even though they may succeed and offer extra material needs to their family, they may have to sacrifice family time in that they will have to spend less time with their families and they might end up drifting apart and this would kill happiness within the household. Proponents of the premise state that rich individuals may have to sacrifice family time in order to take their children to the best schools and this may result in sadness amongst the children since parents don’t spend time with them to teach them important life lessons and skills. According to Dunn, Aknin, and Norton (2008), those who believe that money can buy happiness claim that in this material world riches enables us to afford necessities, Food, Shelter, clothing and healthcare that may be regarded as prerequisites of happiness. Notwithstanding, proponents who believe that money does not bring happiness argue that love is a complex emotion that can be influenced by imperceptible influences such as an individual’s personality. Harrision Drydale (2014), claims that it is important to amass a sufficient amount money will uptick the probability that a person will lead a happy and satisfying life, but it is by no means the only determinant of happiness.
Another opponents of this claim states that a substantial body of economic research documents that richness is a necessary aspect of attaining happiness; statistically speaking, having adequate amount of household income connected with emotional well-being which may be equated to happiness and also associated to a person’s assessment of their value life (Harrison and Drysdale, 2014). To rubberstamp this assertion, it has been proven that the amount of income one generates may determine their level of happiness or stress, particularly when likened to their expenses. Dunn, Aknin, and Norton (2008) however claim that riches can never be a source of long-term happiness, notwithstanding it may be essential in creating environments that encourage happiness. There appears to be a positive association between income and long-term happiness. A lot of persons are of the opinion that money can buy happiness; such people are either living in poverty or newly wealthy. For some individuals, happiness is defined my friends, achievement, and family while for others happiness entails belief and love all that riches cannot buy. Proponents of this claim further state that even though earning money for work can be regarded as an achievement, a sense of accomplishment usually stems from the satisfaction that hard work one undertakes finally pay off (Vohs and Baumeister, 2011). While it’s true that rich persons can afford to live the quality life, afford lavish clothing, housing vehicles and healthcare, this cannot be used as a cue to assert that the more wealth an individual acquires, the richer they become. Both proponent and opponents of the assertion concur that sufficient stability is necessary in order to afford basic essential in life. Aside from this, it is clear that the number of riches one has cannot be said to determine the level of happiness that they experience in life.
Proponents Harrison and Drysdale (2014), believe that the true source of long-term happiness lies in immaterial things such as love, attainment of goals and objectives, family and friendship and persons ought to focus and invest more in such areas if they are to achieve true and lasting happiness. Persons who usually isolate themselves in pursuit of material gains usually wind up miserable and unhappy. This then goes to imply that even poor people can attain happiness and that happiness is not directly proportional to riches. Usually being wealthy creates unsubstantiated paranoia where the rich see everybody close to them as opportunist after their wealth and this creates dissolutions that affect friendships and breaks families leading to unhappiness and at times depression. From this, it can be argued that money only offers the rich with temporary gratification but may never offer a lasting source of happiness and joy in life. As such Proponents of the assertion, money can’t buy happiness urge people to concentrate on what is more important in life, including family, friendship, achievement and love and shun the quest for material things at the expense of happiness, even the poor regardless of their economic status or position can still achieve happiness and lead very fulfilling lives. Notwithstanding, opponents of the assertion argue that in today’s material world riches is essential in establishing and sustaining social activities and social bonds. If individuals are wealthy, they can afford to offer presents to their family and friends take them on expensive trips and consequently strengthen their bond, and this subsequently builds happiness. They are of the opinion that in such a material world it is hard if not impossible to operate without financial ability and as such riches is a critical cornerstone in the quest for happiness.
The fact that financial capability is essential in this material world is irrefutable, notwithstanding it is necessary to understand that amassing riches does not guarantee happiness in life. Happiness is a rather complex emotion that is dependent on an array of factors such as achievement of goals, family, friends and loves all that riches cannot help attain. In conclusion, it is essential for persons to comprehend that there is more to life than money and that Riches are a significant aspect of life since they offer sustenance and enable us to afford basic needs, notwithstanding, amassing riches does not bring long-term satisfaction and happiness in life and even the poor can experience happiness since there is more to life than money.
Dunn, E.W., Aknin, L.B. and Norton, M.I., 2008. Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319(5870), pp.1687-1688.
Harrison, P.J. and Drysdale, K., 2014. Can money buy happiness?.
Vohs, K.D. and Baumeister, R.F., 2011. What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy you money. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21(2), pp.139-141.