Can money buy us happiness?

February 28, 2012

Can money buy happiness? Well, if we are going to give this question a decent crack, it may first be necessary to framed a supplementary question: would you use your washing machine as a concrete mixer? The answer has to be no, in the same vein whenever people ask, can money buy happiness? What they usually fail to understand from the onset is – why would any sane person even try to use money to buy happiness? Hence, money has no correlation with happiness anymore than scratching my guli’s on a hot day has anything to do with global warming.

Bear in mind, I am not saying that if you’re just walking in Orchard Road and minding your own business and a million dollars fell from the sky – that wouldn’t make you happiest – I am sure you would be jumping for joy – but that isn’t the type of happiness, I am referring too.

True happiness is a choice. We can choose to be never satisfied or we can take refuge in the idea we are not as bad as others who may have to struggle like a hamster perpetually turning the wheel of life – but either way you decide to cut it, money is very important, so jugular even that if I had to rate the relative importance of money – it would probably occupy the third quadrant just after health and wisdom. My reasons for placing such a high weighting on money is because money these days is synonymous with liberty and self emancipation. Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but at least it allows you to be miserable under your own terms by crying your eyes out in the Presidential suite of the four seasons rather than squatting over a monsoon drain where shit water flows in some squatter colony. Which one of the two versions of grief would you prefer? I rest my case.

Having said that having money is bliss, it can also be a curse, if one is not mindful of its corrosive effects – as wealth allows us to experience the “best” that life has to offer Once we’ve had the opportunity to drink the finest cellared wines, fly first class, dine on beluga caviar with lashings of champagne, and watch a Beyonce concert in a private box, sharing a char kuey teow with a friend on a sunny day in East Coast Park just doesn’t seem to have the same awe inspiring “wow” factor any longer. Indeed when we allow money to overreach like some evil weed to take over and color other aspects of our life’s – then what invariably happens is it ultimately undermines our ability to savor life’s little pleasures – so while money doesn’t buy you happiness, it can very definitely make you a very sad and miserable person.

Neither do I see the wisdom of confusing wealth with unbridled materialism. As even the poor can very easily aspire and be fixated on accumulating icons of power and influence. I once cured my secretary’s chronic depression by buying her a Louis Vuitton handbag as I didn’t see the logic for her to pop mind bending pills (hence the adage, those who think money can’t buy happiness simply don’t know where to shop) – so who is to say that being materialistic is wrong or even bad for the soul? Where I believe materialism takes a wrong turn is when people form an unhealthy relationship with their possessions to such an extent whereby they confuse their identity with their possessions – when this happens, then materialism becomes a method of appropriating one’s character as we will continually invest our self worth and sense of importance in the properties we own or the cars we choose to drive – but providing the line is kept crystal clear – I really don’t see how buying a Rolex watch for your better half or giving her money to buy a couture dress for a special occasion can possibly turn her into a greedy monster.

Experienced has informed me when we as men do this for women, it usually makes us and them happiest and that is really the only thing that matters to me –the rest is mere polemics.

Darkness 2012

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“When you are really wealthy and influential, you should amble around in bata slippers sporting a faded white shirt with three holes. The first hole will convey to others, you may perhaps be a man who doesn’t care very much about his appearance. The second hole is to conclude that you really don’t care and the third is to confirm the fact, you can afford not to care. This is real power. The highest expression of the word confidence – beware of the man who wears the shirt with three holes. Now gentlemen, find out everything there is to find out about this man – dig and drill very quietly – we are not dealing with a lightweight here. You see Gentlemen, I happen to know this aspect of warcraft from the inside out, as I am the man who only has the confidence to wear a shirt with one hole.”

(A secret conversation with the Guilds in Naypyidaw six months ago in sector 17 (real world) – The Brotherhood Press 2012 – intercepted by the deep space heavy lift cruiser KDD Puteri Gunung Ledang III)

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