Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Do We Need Money to Be Happy?

When I think about the most important things in life, finances are not the first thing that comes to mind. However, money is certainly one of the crucial aspects associated to people’s wellbeing. Many people think that their current situation would be much more beneficial if they had more money, but the truth is that our society, which dictates trends associated to money, is making them more troubled than ever.

From the moment a person is born, money becomes an important part of his life. Financial wellbeing is everyone’s motivation for setting goals, studying, and becoming successful in the chosen career. Children’s goals and dreams are genuine, but become corrupted by the idea of money as they grow up. Jack London’s character Martin Eden can be observed from two perspectives: exemplary determination and persistence, or blind ambition that leads one’s moral values to an abyss. We live in a society that forces us to be strong in order to survive in the competitive job market. However, that fight does not makes people strong; it makes them distant from the true meaning of life.

All aspects of modern society have progressed. We live in bigger, busier, and louder cities and rely on technology to take care of the simplest daily tasks. However, the moral values and struggles of humanity remain unchanged. Women were trying to look beautiful for the purpose of marrying rich men since the ancient Roman Empire. Wealth has always been associated to prestige and power. Poor people have always had to obey and conform to the rules. As Martin Eden, they think that money would enable them to push the boundaries and achieve things they wouldn’t be able to experience in the current situation. However, the truth is that wealth puts us in chains we are not able to recognize.

All modern values are dependent upon money. People fantasize about being in someone else's shoes and benefiting from power, prestige, and high self-esteem. When we limit our inner aspirations to the financial effects they would have, we are no longer committed to realizing genuine dreams; we always want more no matter how much we achieve. Money are certainly important for people’s happiness because they serve as an acknowledgement of their success, but the constant desire to become richer has nothing to do with personal accomplishment. If the true inner values are not respected, the contentment we get from financial rewards fades away sooner than we expect.

People who are not overly attached to the money they earn are focused on personal growth, close relationships and health. They experience wellbeing in its essence, since prosperity and welfare are not essentially dependent upon finances. The attitude we have towards money is important about the way we experience and handle stress and resentment. As Maya Angelou said, “We need much less than we think we need.” In an ideal society, all professions would be rewarded with the same salary that would enable people to cover their basic needs. Such idealistic concept would enable everyone to focus on their uncorrupted dreams. Money should never be a precondition for happiness, regardless of the faulty standards our society has imposed.