One piece of advice that always annoys me no end is this:

Money cannot buy happiness.

The amount of damage done by this one adage cannot be estimated. It stagnates a person into inertia and complacency. In fact I would even venture to say that there seems to be a conspiracy of sorts to keep people mired in that complacency so that there is always a ready supply of helpless folk who will then borrow from banks at exorbitant interest rates, and also remain employed (tied up) in corporations. Yeah, go ahead, call me a conspiracy theorist. Because when you believe in the veracity of this useless and, in fact, damaging proverb, you are disrespecting the power that money has in ensuring that your happiness endures.

What people do not realize is that money has negative value in your happiness quotient: While money cannot buy you happiness, the unsaid part is that lack of it can create a serious dent in whatever little happiness that you have in your life. In that sense it’s like a fence around your property: While the fence adds little value to your estate, no one can deny that it protects your property from encroachment.

A very appropriate thing I read somewhere: When poverty and want enter a home through one door, love and affection go out the other.

Money is just a tool. Having it in your life gives you options. There is nothing happy about being in a situation in which you have limited or undesirable options owing to lack of money.

For instance, Sam Walton , the founder of Walmart and one of the richest Americans who ever lived, drove around in a pickup truck, very similar to the one below. (Presumably the one displayed below is the one he drove.)

sam walton pickup truck
Sam Walton’s pickup truck

Now before someone says that s/he too drives around in a pickup truck, as did Sam Walton, let me remind them that Sam could have purchased just about any luxury car model in the market, but he *chose* to drive in a station wagon. Do you have the choice to drive in just about any car that you want?

You see, money provides options, as well as the freedom to exercise those options. If at all I have to be unhappy and cry my heart out, I would prefer doing that in a top-of-the-line S-class Mercedes, rather than on a worn out bicycle, or a 10-year old car that complains every time I hit a pothole.

A few other examples. Is there any happiness in:

  • Not being able to pay your bills on time?
  • Your mother not being able to go ahead with an overdue surgery owing to lack of money?
  • Getting calls from credit card recovery companies asking about your dues?
  • Not being able to give the best education to your kids?
  • Not being able to take a long-deserved vacation to a place of your choice?

Now before you call me materialistic, let me ask you: you do need a place of worship for your spiritual needs, don’t you? So do these places of worship materialize out of thin air to satisfy your spiritual needs, or do they need hard money to be constructed? There is no virtue in poverty.

It should be every human being’s most ardent desire to provide the best for their family. Being complacent about this is sinful. And there’s nothing that adds to that complacency than the proverb just quoted.

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