My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

05 October 2006

The Sweeping Insensitivity Of This Still Life

I had to make a certain decision. There was a lot of factors involved, but among them was happiness and money. I found it very difficult to make the decision as I was not able to compare money and happiness on the same basis. It was like comparing distance to temperature for example. What is worth more, 1km or 10 degrees C? (I know, a little geeky)

Money can't buy you happiness.
So what if you think money can't buy you happiness. It can sure make your misery a lot more comfortable!

So can money buy happiness? Well, I can think of a few instances where the lack of money can cause me
serious misery:

Not enough money...
-to eat or find a place to live
-to be with someone I like
-for proper for health care

There are also instances where a lack of money can cause me
mild but not serious misery:

Not enough money...
-for a car and would have to use public transportation and waste more time
-to take courses that improves my career
-to be able to listen to music
-to be able to pursue my hobbies

Now I want to make it very clear that I don't consider myself as a materialistic person at all. I don't care if ride a BMW or a Lada. I don't care if wear Tommy or not. In fact, I hate owning anything expensive. But I will care if I was somehow unable to listen to my music for example!

I am sure you can think of a lot of instances where money cannot buy happiness:

-when you have a broken heart
-when you've lost someone
-when you're feeling lonely
-when you feel guilty

Obviously money is useless in the above cases. So what is the answer? How do I decide? Well, I thought about it and came to a rough conclusion. The initial amount of money pretty much translates to happiness. And the rate at which money can translate to happiness decreases as the amount you have increases. So if you have 1 Million, the first 10,000 for example should mean a lot to you. The next 10,000 mean less... and so on. This is because the initial amounts are for the basic needs, which if not satisfied, will cause misery.

A few months ago someone told me a fascinating story about a woman and her kids in Kenya that lived on nothing. They had no money but somehow they were truly happy and the mother always had a smile on her face. I see this as the exception though. I think the vast majority of people that cannot afford their basic necessities are unhappy.

So if you can afford your basic needs, don't be a slave to money. Enjoy your life now; cause youth will not be around when you have a big bank account.


Blogger Lexcen said...

I've often contemplated life removed from the struggle to survive. What ARE my basic needs and what are luxuries? There's something very true in the quote you have. If you can or can't afford necessary medical treatment is a real factor in your level of happiness. In such circumstances, money can buy happiness, assuming that good health makes you happy and ill health makes you unhappy. Wishing for more money to buy that Maserati you've always wanted but couldn't afford, well that's different.

11:30 AM

Blogger N said...

i read recently in psychologies magazine "the less you have, the more you are".

i think that could be true.

11:53 AM

Blogger Cleopatrina said...

"the rate at which money can translate to happiness decreases as the amount you have increases"
very well said.
Actually the word "happiness is quite overrated.Happiness is partially fullfilled in the mere act of its pusuit,another ratio in satisfying your conscience as uve subtely mentioned.But most of all,rapture is seeing it in the eyes of others knowing u had some hand in it.Money and Happiness are unrelated..they just happen to coincide at times..others..who gives.
Real "happiness" is non existent on this planet..thats why we work for the afterlife..We have"tasbeeras" to help us accomplish our mission on earth..aint nothing wrong with that

12:41 AM

Blogger FreudianSlip said...

First off...great title;)

Secondly, amen to that last paragraph.
I think people often get carried away with the saving and compounded interest.

I wouldn't mind financial security though...just enough to get me by.

1:48 AM

Blogger Яαgιи Яαvєи said...

imogen heap sues

5:55 AM

Anonymous izzi said...

This is what i do, don't over think things, do the best with what you have, and strive for what you want, there is hapiness everywhere, if you are happy with urself, you will attract it, if ur discontent, u repel happiness... money, it only lasts until we spend it. but what would i know?

5:39 AM

Blogger Lexcen said...

Happiness is being able to see that the glass is half full, unhappiness is despair that the glass is half empty.

11:05 AM

Anonymous deenie said...

I agree with you completely. But I also think some people really do get happier with certain materialistic items. A more luxurious home, for example. But happiness isn't ever final; it can be caused or triggered by something that had to do with money, but it can just as easily be retracted. It's a state of mind, and that's something that can fit into all different sizes of bank accounts, for different amounts of time.
I liked your mathematical analysis. Are you a math geek?

4:08 PM

Anonymous Blacklander said...

I liked that post. I guess happiness is overrated as an abstract. Your happiness now isn't your happiness a year -or maybe an hour- later. Many factors are involved at any given moments.. sometimes money constitute a part of what would make you happy, sometimes it's irrelevant. The important thing is not trading attainable happiness for unattainable one.

11:43 PM


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