Monday, April 23, 2012

Money CAN Buy Happiness

According to a new study, money can buy happiness--as long as you make $50,000 a year or more.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. For one thing, I have little or no idea a) how happy the people I know really are or b) how much money they really make.

Money is the last great taboo.  I asked a few people I know how much money it would take for them to feel absolutely secure about their futures and I think I would have gotten a more positive reaction if I had asked them to run naked down the street. People will happily tell you all about their sex lives, their bowel habits, their medical problems, but money...nope, no way, not going there. 

To judge from the way the many of people I know act (and spend), none of them have any money issues whatsoever. No one seems worried about making the mortgage, paying for health insurance, putting food on the table, taking vacations or anything else.  Which is good.  I mean I'm glad that most people I know aren't in any financial struggle.

And yet I wonder.  I wonder if, in the secret darkness of the night, they lie awake and worry?  Despite knowing that worry does nothing, I've been there more times than I'd like to admit.  I've spend long hours in the dark asking God for direction, for employment and for income.  So far, he's given me my daily bread, but I wouldn't complain if he were to allow me to "buy happiness" in the not-so-distance future.

Do you think God knows about the $50,000 cut off number? :)


  1. Janelle Schneider2:27 PM

    I freely admit money is an issue for me. I was raised to believe my financial security was an indicator of my "character". Financial security = "good character". I now recognize that as a bunch of bunk, but I still worry, and cringe, and wish I could make things different.

    I don't know who came up with the $50,000 number, or how they did it, but I'm certain their research is flawed.

  2. I think we all carry some interesting...and flawed...messages about money. That it's hard to get. That it won't last. That we should or shouldn't have it. I am curious how much money people think they need to feel both happy and secure. Fascinating topic.

  3. I'm not sure "happiness" depends on money. I think it is rather an interior quality that surpasses our situation in life. That said, it's always nice to eat and be warm and dry.

    Perhaps a fear about finances arises from the reality that riches are such a weak and insecure commodity. "Here today, gone tomorrow" as the saying goes! We don't know if tomorrow we'll lose our jobs or investments or homes or families. Life is just uncertain. Perhaps we look for security in the wrong places?


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