Funding your happiness By james wells

The ultimate philosophical debate topic, life. What is its purpose? How do we live it? Are we supposed to be happy? Are we supposed to work? All of these questions with very different answers, or little to no answers for them. One very large topic of debate is money, is it the route to all man’s happiness? Or is it the route to all man’s hate and misfortune in the world? Let’s dig in shall we.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.”

I am a strong believer that money does not buy you happiness, nor does it lead to happiness. As I grow more and more each day, money is always a thought in the back of my head. It’s a slowly daunting factor, hovering over my head as I make my way through college, inevitably reaching the world of full-time employment. As a young adult in his 20’s, you are constantly questioned about your education and future employment opportunities. Where will you work? How much will you make? How much do you want to make? All questions forcing you to sit down, look at your ceiling and slowly begin to scream in your head, as you envision the next 10 hypothetical years of your life flash before your eyes.

From what I’ve seen, it’s a long road of ups and downs. On one hand, I will be fighting between my moral belief that money is not the answer to happiness. On the other hand, I will be fighting with payments to live on my own, pay for food, pay for services and pay for the things that I wish to own at the time.

In reading a Forbes article about money versus happiness, it was established by a survey done by Pennsylvania and Michigan Universities, that the majority of people say that money does buy happiness. Now the survey indicates that as long as you are making a minimum of $50,000 a year, you will live a happy life. Anyone living with a lower salary than $50,000 in financial support, are clearly thought to be those struggling to live happy and sustainable lives.

I have no idea what to make of this. I for one want to be working at a job that makes me happy in life, live a financially stable life, travel, purchase items that are of interest to me and eventually begin a family somewhere down the road. What scares me the most, is whether or not my views or goals in life will guarantee me any of these things. Whether or not these things will be reliant upon me or my future career, I still don’t want to sacrifice things I want to have or do in my life, all for the sake of acquiring money.

I have college roommates who talk a lot when they’re all back at the apartment. When they talk, I never know what to make of it. The constant topics of discussion revolve around; how much money one made today at work, the $130,000 cars they want to buy when they become rich at their jobs, the big houses they want to buy, all of the adult toys they wish to own, all of these topics really get under my skin, I’ll explain why.

I believe I am an individual who lives with some aspects of depression in their life. Listening to those whose lives are on track, their education is paying off, they are making money, they’re paying off their debts and seeing them live with constant smiles on their faces, it really gets to me, leading me to question and concern myself with my current and future affairs.

I’ve watched the inspirational videos, a lot of them, how they all highlight that money isn’t important, live the life you want to live, do the things you want to do, we only have one chance, one life, to do the things we want to do. Sadly, as my three years of college grow on me more and more, I have begun to see that the things we want most in life, generally are not found without some sort of financial aid to support them. Which brings me to the issue as to why I am writing this reader. Does money buy you happiness? Can we obtain happiness on our own without financial support? Or, do we all have to live our lives in pursuit for money because it is the route to all of our happiness in this world? Right now, I still wish to believe that we don’t need money to be happy.

That being said, we live in a first-world county, a country where living without financial aid is a rare but doable occurrence. I however, do not wish to live without money in my life. So, yes I do believe money can “contribute” to a person’s happiness, but, I will always believe that the happiness we seek will be found inside of us and in others. That is where true happiness will always be found.

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Created with images by MorboKat - "Stock Photography - Canadian Money"

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