Can great wealth buy happiness

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Money serves as a means to acquire those products and services that are essential to our basic needs. For example, we need money to purchase food, clothing, and shelter, pay medical bills, school fees, light bills, and water bills, provide for our family, feed our children, and stay healthy. The inability to satisfy one’s basic needs causes great discomfort and depression. People living in poverty are unable to meet their basic needs, thereby experiencing great misery. The extreme opposite of wealth, which is poverty is indeed scary and utterly undesirable. We definitely need money to live a comfortable and luxurious life. 

Without money to meet their fundamental needs, many people experience great suffering, so great that they give in to the thoughts of taking their lives because death to them tastes better than a hellish life. Many inhabitants of the Third World experience poverty, which is reflected in their feeding pattern, low standard of living, enduring physical maladies, high death rate, level of illiteracy, low technology, and low level of sanitation. They all long to live a far more enriching and financially rewarding life because living in poverty is an endless torture. Therefore, anyone who says money is not important in life does not know what it is like to be poor. 

Financial constraints can come in various levels. In the same way there are richer people than a rich man you know, there are also poorer people than a poor man you know. And while minimal financial constraints can make one overly uncomfortable, there is no measuring how distressing being extremely poor feels like. Money is not just necessary; it is vital. Without it, our comfort, happiness, and survival are in danger. There are only very few things worse than living a life of poverty. There is no telling how terrible such experience is. It is difficult to be very happy when you have serious financial constraints, especially when you have to provide for your family. 

While being financially stable and wealthy will no doubt enable you to meet your fundamental needs and therefore allay your anxiety, the mere idea that acquiring great wealth will emphatically bring about absolute happiness is flawed. Being wealthy is just one of the components that constitute happiness, and not the only factor that determines your level of happiness. Money is needed to live comfortably, and is needed to allay your financial anxiety and insecurities, but it can never allay all the problems you are facing. 

Money can’t buy long-lasting health

Although, being wealthy means you have no problem with paying medical bills and going to the best hospitals around the world, there are numerous wealthy people in history who have died from illnesses. Steve Jobs was very rich and famous, and he is well-known for his APPLE technology, yet he died of pancreatic cancer. Michael Jackson was a great performer and notable singer, who suffered ill health for years before finally giving up the ghost. Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure. There are indeed several icons who have died of ill-health, despite being very rich. Their wealth couldn’t save them because another vital component of happiness (health) dropped while wealth amassed. 

Great wealth does not guarantee great relationships

Great relationships can never be bought with material things. Anyone who is drawn to you because of your material possessions does not have a reliable and genuine respect for you. Such people are only drawn to you because it is convenient. When adversity comes, they will easily abandon you. Frankly, people who are so obsessed with acquiring material things that they measure other people’s worth and value based on how much money they have are very myopic and selfish. And since many people have the false idea that acquiring more material things will make them happy and fulfilled, wealthy people tend to attract selfish and vain people to themselves. However, strong and lasting relationships with vain and opportunistic people, rather than with those who are willing to endure some discomfort and face adversities for the sustenance and growth of their relationships, cannot exist. 

A strong and lasting relationship is based on enduring respect, perseverance, loyalty, fortitude, honesty, and authenticity, all of which are qualities that must be shown when the relationship is put to hardship test and when adversity comes. Vain people never pass the test because they are largely selfish.