Money Doesn’t Always Equal Happiness
Happiness “that sense of warmth that begins at the core of the soul, spreads to the heart, and radiates outward from the eyes and lips of those who know it. The gift of happiness is elusive, but tangible. You cannot seek to find that which makes you happy for happiness comes from within and by your own choice.” (Mr. Dale Reddish, 2010). This is a rather eloquent interpretation of happiness that really gets to the heart of the argument; does money really buy happiness? The problem with most of the required reading is it is derived from survey data that uses a list of answers that is predetermined by the interviewer. That is where the social psychologist Hadley Cantril differed in his approach. Mr. Cantril understood the complexity of the question, and how people’s answers might vary throughout different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.
We are complex beings and one would think that the things that make us happy would vary significantly. The open-ended approach Mr. Cantril used allowed for a broad gap in actual results, surprisingly this was not the case. Despite Mr. Cantril’s ambitious attempt the most common answer he received were along the lines of material conditions, and more importantly the individual’s level of living. We have all heard the phrase “you get what you put in to it”, this relates extremely well to the concept of marginal utility. I for one was raised knowing that in order to get the things I wanted I had to be willing to make sacrifices. One thing you learn while serving your country is nothing in this world is free, not even freedom itself. However, when one pursues their monetary goals in excess more often than not they tend to neglect the actual things that matter. People become so caught up in chasing the buck that they tend to forget why they are doing it in the first place.
Having fortune and fame is something that everyone wants, but few...
References: Happiness. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.Retrieved May 23, 2010, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happiness
Reddish, D. (2010). How do you find happiness? Message posted to http://www.thehappyguy.com/define-happiness.html
Easterlin, R. A. (2004). "The Economics of Happiness" Daedalus, 2004, 133, Issue 2 - on happiness, 26 - 33. Retrieved February 22, 2010 from: http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~easterl/papers/Happiness.pdf
Lee, D.W. (2005). "Who Says Money Cannot Buy Happiness?" The Independent Review v 5(3), Retrieved February 22, 2010 from: http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_10_3_05_lee.pdf
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