Can Money Buy Happiness?

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A rich man has the freedom to buy whatever he desires, go where ever he wants and do something to make himself happy. The same goes for a poor man. The difference between the rich and poor is what each can afford; the rich can afford more than the poor.

The happiness we feel as a result of possession of the tangible things of life is transient, and soon becomes a function of the tangible item. It soon fades as we look around and realize there are other things better than what we have out there….. which we(you and I) don’t have.

Let me give you an example: its like how I felt when I bought my first car. For the first 3-months, I felt like an achiever, as if I had just won the lottery. I was happy with myself, like almost asking myself “is this me? so this is what it means to own a car? etc” One year later, the car felt like an ordinary phone, something which I needed to have.

The car soon brought loneliness, I missed the hustle and bustle in Lagos public transport. I always drove to work alone. And even though within me I wanted some company; between the time I left home, the traffic and the distance to work, I couldn’t just pick anybody up for company-sake. In the part of Africa where I live, while you are driving your own car, you have to also help other road users drive their own car. You have to pilot the motorcycle riders and even help those crossing the street so that “they won’t make you have an accident”. The idea of strapping myself to a chair early in the morning, after wearing a shirt and tie compounded issues. Secretly, I wished I had a driver. I thought about it: having a driver means the driver would require a monthly salary, then I have to create more space in my brain to monitor his driving, watch his back, and make sure he doesn’t drive roughly and get me into a bigger problem. When as a big boy with a driver, your driver hits someone, the issue is graver since you are sitting at the back; its graver than when you are driving yourself. All of a sudden, I started noticing cars on the road, better than mine, more recent and finer too. Slowly, the feeling of dissatisfaction began to set in. The happiness I initially felt began to fade.

The above is a cycle. If I wanted to feel like an hero again, I would have gone to buy a new car, but that would have been additional spending. Then I have to start saving again. What would happen the day the money finishes?

The lack of some amount of wealth helps makes people find happiness in little ordinary things, in ordinary people and in an ordinary and free life. Ask celebrities how they feel going around with bodyguards and an entourage, always on their toes , compared to the rest of us who can walk on the street all alone and by ourselves.

The rich / poor can buy all they want, but can’t buy happiness. True happiness is found outside the use and misuse of our 5-senses.


  • who?, what? and where is the source of true happiness.

Leave your answer as a comment below.


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