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Can Money Buy Happiness?

Most people find it easy to say no to this question, and that answer is probably correct for the most part. But it is also just a way to stop thinking about the tougher issues involved. For example, what's your relationship to money, and how do you use this most powerful of worldly tools? Can it buy a bit of happines maybe?

We can see that chasing after money for its own sake can be damaging to our true values. Isn't it equally damaging, though, to have such a powerful instrument in our hands while pretending it has no importance? Is it important that children eat? Is it important they have access to education? Is it important that we have time to share the lessons of life with them? Is time to explore our own spirituality important? Money can buy all these things.

Money Is Important

When people say that money isn't important to them, they are usually either lying, or they just don't see the importance. They might make more than they need and yet complain they have no time for their children, when they could clearly trade time chasing money for time with their kids.

Here's a short video on the topic of money and happiness...

People want self-improvement, but instead of buying the tools to help them (a book, a class, a trip to a monastery) they put $800 televisions on credit cards. Then they have to work to pay for it all, taking even more time from their children and their own personal development.

This isn't about televisions, which can be good things. This is about priorities. The ways in which we make money and how we spend money reveals ourselves. The question is, do we like what we see? Are we using money in ways that move us towards true values? Money IS important, isn't it?

Money affects every aspect of our lives, including the meaning of life itself. We sometimes over-rate the value of money, and surrender real values to chase it. We pay for money in time, a compromising of our ethics perhaps, and in additional stress. The price is sometimes too high.

We also under-rate the importance of money in our lives. Name any valuable goal or direction in your life. Can't you, with a little imagination, see how money might help?

Money and Happiness

Can money buy you happiness? No, but it can help put the right conditions in place. Is it easier to be happy if you have food to eat? Whether you call that buying happiness or not, the understanding is more important than the argument. If you pursue your spirituality in a church, you pay for that place with money, right? If you have money, you have the power to help people, right?

It is fashionable to say that money can't buy happiness, but it doesn't help our understanding. Earn your money in a healthy, satisfying way, and spend it wisely, and of course you have a better chance to be happy, and to help others be happy. Clearly, we need a deeper understanding than is provided by a cliche about money and being happy.

Note: Check out my new website: The Meaning of Money (And sign up for Money Matters newsletter.)


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Money Buy Happiness

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