How many times have you heard the statement: “Money can’t buy happiness”? I bet a hundred if not a thousand times. It already became a cliché. Perhaps, a person hears it, tells it to another crowd and another person from it tells it to another crowd then tells it to another and so on; until it becomes a part of every conversation in town. That “wise men” are conditioned and expected to say it, just like saying “hello” whenever someone answers the phone. So there you go, money can’t buy happiness – monkey sees, monkey does.
Where it all started, I don’t have any way of knowing. But quite sadly, such opinion has taken away most people without even asking questions. By simply accepting that money can’t buy happiness, a person subconsciously chooses happiness over money or material things. Certainly, this person will easily let go of any opportunity for money or material gain in pursuit of happiness. In his mind, the other one is inferior and eventually discarded.
To me, this is RIDICULOUS. Money and happiness are two irrelevant subjects in the first place. But with such statement, the mind is forced to choose between them. You CAN be both happy and unhappy when you’re broke. (Trust me) And you CAN be both happy and unhappy even when you are rich. Funny, those whom I hear say that money can’t buy you happiness often are those who are poor, unhappy, dissatisfied and regretful.
I came across a passage from Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich which I would like to share with you:
“If you are one of those who believe that hard work and honesty alone will bring riches, you can forget it. It is not true. Riches when they come in huge quantities are never the result of hard work alone. Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite DEMANDS based upon the application of definite principles and not by chance or luck.”
If it is true that there is no compromise between poverty and riches, material or otherwise, then we are all in poverty. (Unless you object with this, I’ll be more than happy to meet you and discuss how you were able to beat poverty.) And we therefore shall demand upon ourselves the necessary decision and action to wield us out of this situation, lest, we will find not just ourselves but also the sons of our grandsons and the generations to come, still trapped in poverty. As others say, poverty is a curse.
So, why bother to write about this Money-Happiness feat? Let’s just say that millions if not billions of people around the world spend almost their entire life working for money, yet fail to seek happiness at the end of their journey. They spend their most valuable resource – TIME, in exchange for a penny. Besides, it is fair enough to say that in today’s society, money is important in sustaining life.
We are not in this world merely to survive, work, eat, sleep or maybe even multiply. We are all more than these. These are the functions of other animals lower than us which are driven by instinct alone. We are not here for the 8 to 5 scheme and a 40-hour work week. We are not here to look forward to weekends, holidays, breaks or vacations and travels. We are not here for the forty years of job security and a retirement pension and other benefits. We are not here just for the status quo.
We are not clamshells who are simply swept by the tide or “fate” whatever. We are privileged to be given the right to freedom – to choose and to decide. We are not monkeys who simply do what they see. We are human beings. Nature endowed us with the ability to think and to reason.
Life does not merely happen to us. We create it as we live it. Thus, we are all responsible for CREATING a meaningful and fulfilling life. Not dictated nor limited by the opinion of others no matter how well-meaning they may be.
The world has more than enough riches and abundance for nations to be poor. Happiness, just like riches is a matter of choice. It is a decision that is ours to make. It is never evil to nourish the body nor it is holy to nourish the soul alone. We all live through body, mind and soul. In the ultimate pursuit of happiness, none is better than the other. All are of equal importance.
Happy New Year and let’s all look forward to a more abundant and more meaningful life.
Make it happen.