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Philosophy: to Be Rich or Happy

By Greengalgracie1 Jan 30, 2013 862 Words
Philosophy 101 Paper

We’ve all been asked the silly question, “Would you rather be rich or would you rather be happy?” In my opinion, this question can’t possibly be a one-or-the-other answer. I strongly believe that although money is not the meaning of happiness and life, wealth is the only key component that ensures your ability to live an easier life ultimately leading to a happy one. What is an easy life? We all want to be content with our lives and although according to Socrates, each person’s idea of a good life is subjective, each person shares the deep desire to be happy. An easy life is one where happiness is readily available for a person. No mater the variation of happiness between being simply content with your life or having a passion and excitement for your life, money and wealth helps make happiness attainable. My primary argument begins with how money and wealth makes life easier. This is proved physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Let’s look at the life of 63 year old, Larry. He is a wealthy man who enjoys golf, Jack & Coke, his children, and UT football. Because Larry is wealthy he lives a happy life because he is able to satisfy his wants. Now some might rebuttal this statement with, “No, Larry’s children are responsible for the joy in his life, “ or, “Larry’s hobbies make him happy.” Well, let’s start with wealth on the physical aspect of life. It would be hard to negate that without physical well-being the mental, social, and societal aspects of happiness would matter. Still thinking about wealthy Larry, his life is made easier physically because of his money. Seven years ago Larry’s mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung cancer. The doctors gave her the option of going through treatment, but said her chances of survival were minute. After hearing a doctor say this, Larry looked up the best treatment facilities hosting some of the most successful doctors. Larry’s mother is still alive today because of the great treatment she received. Without Larry’s money to fund her treatment, the chances of her being alive wouldn’t be great. The same principle of having the means to take care of Larry’s loved one goes for himself, too. If he develops the flu, a virus, or a skin cancer, he can afford the medicine and action taken needed to survive and remain healthy. A wealthy person can afford better food rich in nutrients meant for sustaining health. If a person isn’t healthy, they either A) won’t survive or B) will struggle through life and their happiness will diminish. With the means to stay healthy, wealth makes life easier physically. In today’s ever growing society, wealth makes life easier. Larry has worked all of his life in order to earn his money; however, his parents’ wealth funded his college education therefore making his life easier when obtaining a job after college. Because he didn’t have student loans to pay back, he was able to start saving his money right when he began working. Now because he has a good job, he is able to pay his mortgage, his bills, and expenses without issue. If he, like many, hadn’t gone to college he would’ve struggled finding a good job. He would then have a constant stress about affording the things he wanted and needed therefore making his life unhappy and stressful. He would constantly be worrying about what his children might think of him if he couldn’t help pay for their education or their Christmas presents or even pay the bills to have hot water. Wealth in society is a need in order to be content because without it, a person’s worries will overpower their ability to be happy. Mental happiness is almost as difficult to explain, as it is to understand; however, wealth in a person’s life can make mental happiness easier to obtain. In nature, we all want to be cared for. In some form, money makes this easier obtained. Because you have are less preoccupied with thoughts about stress over money, you are more emotionally available for your partner. You can take care of that person’s problems if you don’t have your own money issues. For example, while Larry’s mother battled cancer, he was able to support her mentally because he wasn’t worried about how he was going to afford her treatment. Wealth can make you less distracted, therefore making you more available to find a companion whom will ultimately make you happen. With a balance of having the opportunities and time to their enjoy hobbies, challenging their mind with a good education and job, and not being preoccupied with monetary issues handicapping them from a good relationship, money and wealth can make a person’s life easier ultimately making happiness attainable. For people, like Larry, although money does not equal happiness, it acts as the gasoline to the vehicle of happiness. Without it a person may be able to experience happiness, like how society is searching for alternative fuels for vehicles, but with it, their journey to finding the true meaning of what makes them happy is easier.

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