Volume 92, Issue 91

Friday, March 19, 1999


OPINIONS

Question political education promises

Don't judge based on appearances

Fight racism

Money can't buy happiness

New views on old book

Even O.J. has rights and freedoms

Ireland's flag?

Find the inner elephant

Money can't buy happiness

By Warren Flood
Gazette Staff

A buddy of mine is graduating from the honours business administration program this spring. He is entering the job market and is shopping around for his first job. His heart is set on consulting, but he has instead settled for an entry-level position at a large corporation.

I asked why he would accept a job which he admits he will not like. He replied, "because the money is good."

Why should money be the determining factor? How can he enjoy life while spending at least 10 hours a day doing work he despises?

My friend thinks the reason he is unhappy is because he is lacking material goods. He claims a big paycheque will suddenly transform and fulfill his life.

He is well on the road to Babbitry. He thinks a big salary will pave his way to happiness, but by fixating on his paycheque, he is losing sight of his end goal.

Time is a resource – one he is not using to its full potential. Why waste such a precious resource on something which will not lead to greater personal growth and happiness?

If money was the critical factor, then why are many wealthy people unhappy? Why does the opposite hold true? In reality, we need very little, materially, to be happy.

The key to happiness is in using our remaining resources to best maximize our personal utility.

I tried convincing my friend that the trip called life is short and whether he chooses the scenic route or prefers to blaze new trails, he should stop every so often to check his map.

Those in a hurry often make wrong turns. He needs to slow down, look for landmarks and ask for directions. But above all, I said, he needs to enjoy his trip. Getting there is half the fun. I cautioned he would run out of gas before reaching his destination.

My words fell on deaf ears. He is disgruntled with life, but remains convinced money will bring him happiness.

My friend is lost in a jungle of unrealistic expectations set by himself and by others. He is currently stuck on a stuffy bus without a window seat, cramped beside a snoring Willy Loman. With any luck, he will get off at the next station and catch the first train leading to contentment and self-fulfillment.




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Copyright The Gazette 1999