Money Can’t Buy Happiness
postitas: jimbaker - 10.04.2020, , loetud: 323x
Money is frequently regarded as one of the important entities in life. One can buy a book, clock, bed, position, medicine and blood but cannot purchase knowledge, time, sleep, respect, health, or life for the money. The purpose of this essay is to investigate the phenomenon of happiness and the fact whether people actually try and succeed in buying it with the help of financial means. Thus, it is important to examine how the chosen topic is portrayed in the media and society; to determine which theory is related with it, as well as to identify whether they support, refute or complicate this subject in order to summarize the existing researches.
The relationship between money and happiness is and has always been complicated. The first article tells about the stereotypes that rich people are supposed to bear, but they are not justified. A large number people used to think and are still the proponents of the false assumption that the rich are happier as they can obtain practically everything they want. Instead, many wealthy people possess their own set of problems associated with being well-off: the feelings of isolation, the constant fear of losing their material belongings and anxiety about their children’s security among others. During the survey, the prevailing majority of them said that their deepest aspiration was to have enough opportunities to be good, caring parents. The money earned can provide their children with the chances to attend a good school with improved facilities, security, travel, but simultaneously they are afraid that their offsprings become indifferent and depraved. The author proved that those who have billions do not see the happiness in wealth. They just desire to live healthy, meaningful and impactful lives which money cannot buy. We therefore should consider it thoroughly in order not to waste time material wealth, but take a firm decision to be happy and enjoy every day and each separate moment of it.
The second article cites the example of Japan, which has experienced an unprecedented upsurge in the economic growth and a general prosperity and welfare for the majority of its citizens. Surprisingly, people said they did become definitely richer although not happier. The polls have demonstrated that money has an undisputable value, as it is an investment in the scientific research that leads to longer and healthier lives. Nevertheless, it is also proven that money alone does not make people more contented.
The third article, in opposition to all the other mentioned above, illustrates that wealth can indeed bring happiness. It is comfortable for certain categories of population to hear that money cannot provided the feeling of happiness, because it means that they do not need to make efforts to work so hard as to make a living on a decent or, what is more, higher level. Some surveys reveal that wealthier nations are factually significantly happier than poorer, and within countries, richer individuals are more satisfied with their existence than poorer ones. However, it all attributes to the fact that money is not the only determining factor in obtaining happiness. Some developing countries have markedly risen on the scale of emotional wellbeing due to their strong family values, religious and cultural achievements, and conversely, rich nations have shown the gradual fall on this scale for the reasons of political instability and conflicts among the population. No matter what research is conducted, the output will be identical – people have different views on the notion and their own perception of happiness. Money in its pure form does not contribute to people being happier or more satisfied with life.
Today, the humanity is perplexed with the question whether it is happy and what to be done to experience this feeling. The theme “Money cannot buy happiness” is quite controversial, worth attention and investigation. Our basic challenge is to discover whether the happiness is the thing anyone can attain by means of fiscal resources. There are numerous studies, opinions, theories and concepts related to this issue.
This topic is of notable relevance to psychologists, writers, journalists and academics and is much discussed both in the media and society on the whole. A large percentage of the media convince us that money is the means capable of providing the feeling of life contentment. Media invent money and happiness related legends and fairytales, which are essentially limited to the fact that the more money people possess, the more material values they will be able to purchase, including love, friendship, happiness and respect. Only a few books, articles and films portray the fact that money does not generally bring happiness. One of the examples proving this misconception is the film “Indecent Proposal”, directed by Adrian Lyne. The happy couple agrees to an indecent proposal of a billionaire in exchange for a large sum of money. Eventually, they lose peace, understanding between themselves and happiness. Money makes them suffer. This movie has been created to stress the significance of preserving feelings, relationships and a meaningful life for the humanity instead of the pursuit of money.
Another striking example supporting the idea that money cannot guarantee happiness is a book “What Money Can’t Buy” published by an economist Susan E. Mayer. The main issue the author took as the basis of her research is a relationship between children's behavior and wealth. The writer examines whether income earning directly affects children's life chances, as many scientists are inclined to believe. Mayer also proves that with increasing incomes, people strive to the material, like buying a new car, going to a more expensive restaurant, but rarely help their children to succeed in life. Although such things as educational excursions and books are not expensive and usually available for everyone, they are largely ignored. After all, Mayer concluded that money alone does not presuppose the psychological or material well-being, which is necessary for children to be successful and competitive in life or simply develop properly.
For a better understanding of the issue, it is advisable to consider the scientific theories and concepts regarding the happy existence. The most famous theory, which reveals the relationship between money and happiness, is the Easterlin paradox. The basis of this theory lies in the concept of a relative income, namely, how much a person earns compared with others, which factually appears to matter far more than an absolute income. Poor people mostly become happier when they have an ability to afford the basic necessities. A further meeting of the needs lead to reset the bar of happiness. The essence of the theory is to ensure that individual happiness grows only in comparison with the increase of the happiness of others. Another theory, which highlights this issue, is hedonic adaptation (hedonic treadmill). It claims that people quickly adapt to the stable level of the emotional wellbeing and ignore the significant positive changes in their life if these are less amplitudinous than the previous achievements. Happiness, thus, remains an elusive goal that will always hard to reach. Another theory, called a paradox of choice, declares that a greater wealth degree brings more stress and personal disconnection. It offsets any possible happiness gains that the money may have provided.
It is difficult to say confidently whether these theories support refute or complicate how this topic is portrayed in the mass media. As stated above, there are a multitude of opinions on this subject and each source displays it on its own. Plethora of the television media reject these theories as those convincing that money can buy relatively everything. On the other hand, some theories sustain the public opinion. Everything depends on the people’s values, their living conditions, goals, beliefs and the state of mind among others. Frequently, the media reflects the Easterlin paradox by demonstrating that particular individuals become happier only when they attain the same material wealth as, for instance, being a billionaire or acquiring a specific object. Numerous books and publications prop the theory of the paradox of choice, showing that wealth or any sort of extensive possession brings more pain, misunderstandings as well as frustration in our lives. Since each media source has its authors, it, consequently, reflects their opinion about this issue.
Most of what is known about affluent people is the information received from beach novels, television, films, which is, however, chiefly inaccurate. The famous psychologist conducted the research in which the participants were the people owning the fortunes of over 25 million dollars to determine their aspirations, dilemmas and personal philosophies. The results were stunning, as they broke the common stereotypes about these people. They were predominantly concerned that their children lived a worthwhile life and even though they did not have to make an effort to “make a living”, they did need to make a life. It is a good example of where the money can hinder or confuse the perception of certain notions. Besides, wealthy people often have a problem with the choice. Because it is so large, they feel shy, stymied and even dispirited when it comes to making a decision. People who have great wealth can afford to buy or do basically anything they wish. When this occurs, people have nothing left to achieve on this Earth, since all the things have price tags and they are all affordable. Although it may seem a whim or a nonsensical situation, this is the moment when the depression may begin. People do not know what to proceed with and find life meaningless. A striking example is living in Sweden. It is a country where citizens' needs are provided by the government the best way possible in a modern society. However, Sweden is also known as the country having world's highest suicide ratio. Another impressive finding of this research is the fact that these people feel isolated, that is, the higher the wealth, the more isolation.
Money itself cannot provide true happiness and large numbers of people can very well be happy being poor. The bottom line is that money opens more doors leading to happiness. The factors that have affected the psychological status are: how a man obtained wealth (becoming a millionaire after he/she was a billionaire is not likely to bring happiness), what a person spends it on and how it makes them feel. There are a lot of those holding to the idea that money can guarantee the feeling of happiness to a person but only if used wisely. Our research has reflected the idea that wealth by itself does not make people's lives more worth living than the absence of it. Happiness is an emotion, is something people feel, something that comes from inside, not the entity they buy. That is why happiness is priceless.
About the author: Jim Baker is a bachelor in English philology and literature at Oregon University. He is currently working as one of the best writers at the essay store He also studies feminine psychology.