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Luckily, Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

November 2, 2011 by  

Luckily, Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

I spent some time in the steam room of the Spokane Club, drinking a cold beer, on an autumn Saturday some 30 years ago. Four times a week, my best friend and I would lift weights at what was and is today a rather swanky athletic and social club. I went there because my company paid for the membership and it had a terrific weight room, not because I wanted to hobnob with Spokane’s rich and famous.

On that particular afternoon, I noticed the other men in the steam room. We were quite the crew: two lawyers, a life insurance salesman, a realtor, two stock brokers and, in my case, an investment writer (yes, I get the irony in my writing about this subject).

I commented to my best friend Mark that none of us were really contributing to building a better society — at least not in a way that could be easily measured. The Spokane Club was a world apart from the Calgary Petroleum Club, a place where my dad sometimes took me to when I was a kid.

Fifty years ago, the people at the Petroleum Club were mostly geologists, contractors, engineers, wildcatters and cattle ranchers. There were a handful of stock brokers and car dealers as well; but back then, they were the minority.

America Is One Big Service Center

For many years, I had an old diesel Mercedes-Benz. My friends used to tease me, saying it was so old that Heinrich Himmler had driven it. Sutherland Mercedes in Spokane was up the street from my office, so I took my car there to get the oil changed. There’s no question Mercedes-Benz makes a beautiful car, but I doubt its new $100,000 sedan is four times nicer than a new $25,000 Ford sedan.

One day, I was sitting in the nice showroom drinking cheap coffee and waiting for my oil change. A doctor I knew was car shopping with his trophy wife, who looked to be half his age. The salesman was selling them a big Mercedes that would be her car.

She was giddy at the prospect of getting it. Why wouldn’t she be? I doubt she had to contribute a nickel toward the black Autobahn-slayer which she was itching to show off to her South Hill society friends.

The salesman knew he had the doctor on the ropes so he told the couple: “You know, if you buy a new car from us, we will hand wash it for you free and have it ready in 15 minutes.”

“Hear that, dear: free car washes,” gushed the wife.

The thought crossed my mind to tell them that after they paid twice for the Benz what they would pay for a new Lincoln, the car washes really weren’t free. I remembered my old car was still up on the hoist and decided it was better to keep my big mouth shut.

Economic Crisis Alert: Protect your money now or kiss it goodbyeLove What You Do, Not What You Have

Many studies have demonstrated that being poor will make you miserable, but being rich does not make you happy. At some level, society has always understood this. The ancient Greeks talked about the elusive notion of what made a good life. They called it “eudaimonia.” It’s the philosophy that happiness comes from work that helps others, not worldly possessions.

There is still a lot of money sloshing around in today’s economy. The professionals that bet on derivatives make six-figure and sometimes seven-figure salaries without really contributing anything productive other than leveraging other people’s money. I suspect that many of these professionals do it because they love the job and not solely because of the money.

Of course, you can’t tell that to the millions of people who line up to buy super lotto tickets each week hoping that one lucky number will grant them heaven on Earth. And for those who can’t beat the odds? Over the past decade, tens of millions of Americans have borrowed more money than they can afford to pay back. That has left a faltering economy which is impacting most people.

The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) reports that the standard of living for Americans has fallen further and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the U.S. government began recording it five decades ago.

According to the CSM, the average individual now has $1,315 less in disposable income than he or she did three years ago at the onset of the Great Recession, even though President Barack Obama continues to proclaim the recession has ended. That means that an average person has less money.

More telling is that the misery index — which combines inflation and unemployment — has fallen almost back to where it was 30 years ago. That was after inflation had reached 13 percent and stocks had been going down for 16 years, a correction which eliminated two-thirds of the Dow Jones Industrial’s worth when accounting for inflation.

The remarkable turnaround that began in the early 1980s was because of the Reagan recovery and the tech revolution, which created millions of new jobs and trillions of dollars in new wealth in America. That turnaround was helped considerably by the fact that in real terms the price of petroleum fell by more than two-thirds in the 1980s.

This time around, we are not going to be so fortunate. The tech revolution that sent stock indexes soaring is spent, and there does not seem to be a Presidential candidate like Ronald Reagan on the horizon. Meanwhile, Federal government debt is more than 10 times larger than it was during Reagan’s first term.

Can Simpler Be Happier?

My grandparents took a wagon train pulled by horses from Oklahoma to Alberta a century ago. They were not chasing happiness. They were trying to build a life for themselves on “their” land during a period of abundant liberty. They were also intent on giving their children a better life. They lived through severe hardship in a tiny 12-by-12-foot home. Somehow, they survived the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression and they were able to raise three children and put them through college. They were industrious, content and, yes, even happy people.

There is a paradox, says bestselling author Raj Patel in his book, The Value of Nothing: Why Everything Costs So Much More Than We Think.

“After a certain point, more money doesn’t make us happier,” writes Patel. “Instead, we find ourselves on a hedonic treadmill, in which happiness is about matching our level of consumption with our peers, and when they do better and we don’t, even if we are better off in absolute terms, we are less happy.”

Happiness is a relative thing. Many people are convinced that German automobiles and Japanese electronics will help make them happy. When they find out that those things do not make them happy or, worse, that they lose the opportunity to acquire these things because they lose their jobs, a great many people feel cheated. This is the dark underbelly of today’s economic crisis: The ancestors of those who built a better world now have grandchildren and great-grandchildren that are angry over lost opulence.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

John Myers

is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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  • FreedomFighter

    I think nomatter how much money you have:

    helping others thru church, food programs, meals on wheels, or other personal involvement will enrich your life. Goto an old folks home at Christmas and pray with them, they are so alone and feeling abandoned your company will be appreciated by most.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Capitalist at Birth

      Good idea! Last year my parents were both in a nursing home. Quite a shock to see the inattention suffered by most of the people in these places, and this is one of the best in the country. If I had not been able to be an advocate for my parents, along with my sister and other family members, they would have suffered as well. My parents are living in their own home with 24 hour a day care. Thank God we are able to afford it. When I visit Denver, my Father and I visit the local nursing home and spend some time visiting with the PRISONERS. It brings some light to their lives. It is something we should all do. I feel guilty not doing it more often. God Bless the good CRN’s, the ones that really care and strive to do a good job, in a cesspool of greed.

      • CJM

        Nursing homes have been the dumping grounds for unwanted Senior citizens for decades. Once placed, a family member or two may stop in a few times and never return. It’s only when the old folks die that the nursing home notifies the family—and even then, don’t even show up for the funeral. Usually, the nursing home has instructions to contact xyz funeral home and not the family…nice ending isn’t it. It is sad, but very true; the actively involved family of a nursing home patient is priceless because there are so few of them.

      • Old Henry

        I guess Capitalist that it adds creedance to that od addage::Be good to your kides, they will choose your nursing home.

        I have and aunt and uncle in one of those “warehouses” and yes it is depressing.

    • http://naver samurai

      Great post and very true, fellow patriot. The only hang up is that the libs just don’t get it. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Karolyn

    “It is better to give than to receive.” I find that to be vey true, especially as I get older. I get more joy out of giving than receiving. It is also said that “As ye give, so shall ye receive.” Even at my lowest points, I knew that helping others would raise me up. That’s not why I did, or do, it, though. It is the sheer joy of assisting others to maybe find a little happiness.

    Just look at the latest news of Kim Kardashian. Married 72 days, whose wedding cost millions. What a wasted life. Who are these people and why do so many care what they do? It’s all about money, and it gets them nowhere except to have a lot of STUFF. Well, I have a lot of stuff, being a flea marketer/antique dealer; and all it does is take up room. I have an old cellphone that someone gave me; and though I probably will replace it because it’s a pain in the butt, I certainly don’t need a Droid or IPhone. A simple life is a better life.

    • Karolyn

      BTW – Kardashian is getting a divorce.

      • DanB

        A great example of why I don’t look up to the “elites” for what I want out of marriage.

        My example in life is my parents, my grandparents, and many of my religious faith. This is why I took so long before proposing to my wife. I wanted a marriage for eternity. In other words, I set my goal high and believed it possible. That doesn’t mean I would ignore the hard work involved. None of those examples I looked up to ever said it would be easy, in fact many said it would be hard work but well worth it…. Some of have told my wife and I that we’ll be happily married after sixty years. I would love to prove that true but since I got married a little later I would have to first live long enough. So I will just have to content myself with a goal of marriage and fidelity in this life and into the next.

        • denniso

          It’s basically a myth that money doesn’t buy happiness,pushed by the wealthy to help ensure against too much envy of the rich,which can lead to insurrection of the poor against them. Real happiness is certainly an individual and deeply personal thing,but when we live in a society that puts money at the forefront of absolutely every aspect of life,having plenty of money goes a long way toward personal happiness,other things like health,friendships,marriage,kids,being equal. Taking financial worries away totally from one’s life can be so liberating that most working people can’t even imagine it.

          • Bruce

            Denniso,

            For once I agree with your post, the MOST important things in life are LOVE, Haroney with nature as well all things that breath and exist as we are in fact just ONE with everything.

            Power, nor Money nor a Large home nor who has the most toys can one base true happenisss on.

          • Old Henry

            I have found that as long as you have enough to eat, a warm place to live / sleep, clothes to keep you comfortable and a good relationship with your kids / family and God Almighty everything above that is just for show. And who are you trying to impress?

          • Old Henry

            Bruce:

            Your post brought to mind a bumper sticker I saw back in the late 80s.

            It read: “He who dies with the most toys, is still nonetheless DEAD.”

          • Bruce

            Old Henry,

            Fine words of Great Wisdom you post. I agree with you 100%.

            The truth has no agenda, To love and understaning is GOD like, as we are all GOD’s Children and thus hold his blood in our veins that is the highest form of LOVE even shown or Given.

          • Karolyn

            Well if people weren’t such sheep, they wouldn’t have to worry about what society dictates. That is especially true of the kids.

          • Old Henry

            Bruce:

            That is very well said. Too bad there are so many errant children.

          • Joe H.

            denniso,
            you don’t have to be super rich to do away with financial worries, just smarter than a bag of rocks. If you have enough to pay your bills and eat well, maybe vacation each year and ENJOY JUST BEING ALIVE, you are smart!!

        • Old Henry

          As you well know DanB, nothing worthwhile in life is easy.

          Every day I wake knowing it might be my last. George Strait (The King)

          • JeffH

            The Merle Haggard tune “Workin’ Man Blues” I think it’s pretty much how most American’s would like it to be…

            Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
            I ain’t never been on welfare, that’s one place I won’t be
            Cause I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
            I drink a little beer in a tavern
            Sing a little bit of these working man blues

          • Old Henry

            JeffH:

            Thank you. I really enjoy Merle, but do not get to hear him much. That is a good song, and yer right, it sums it up.

          • JeffH

            Old Henry, if I knew how to contact you I’d be more than happy to send you a few CD’s, and not just Merle Haggard. I’m a big fan of the pre-70′s country music.

          • independent thinker

            While I occasionaly listen to some 60′s-70′s classic rock or some gothic music 95% of my listening is to classic bluegrass and pre bluegrass mountain music.

          • JeffH

            IT, I have quite a bit of contemporary home spun bluegrass-country I’ve checked out of the library and copied to CD. One vinyl album I have is Music of the Ozarks which was issued by National Geographic in 1972 and given to me by my mom. It was produced by the Arkansas folk musician, singer, folk-music songwriter, and folklorist and educator Jimmy Driftwood. He wrote over 6000 songs, of which the most famous are “The Battle of New Orleans” and “Tennessee Stud.” Many of his songs dealt with life in the Ozarks, courtin’, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, American folklore, and even sea shanties over 300 were recorded by other artists. I do need to get it transferred to CD so I can preserve the music and listen to it.

          • independent thinker

            I have RFD TV and every Saturday evening (unless something prevents it) I watch Ronnie Reno and Cumberland Highlanders both Bluegrass shows. I am familier with Jimmy as I was born, raised, and have lived most of my life in Arkansas. Will have to look up the Ozark music album and check it out.

          • JeffH

            IT, Amazon has the album on their website. “Music of the Ozarks”

      • CJM

        so who gives a rat’s behind?

      • Old Henry

        Never heard of that person. Who, or what is he / she?

        • Karolyn

          Old Henry – There’s a reality TV show about the Kardashian family. The girls’ mother is married to Bruce Jenner. Remember him? Wasn’t he an Olympic star? By virtue of them having money, they are big topics of the celebrity scene. People who contribute nothing to this country. Of course, they do purchase a lot of stuff to keep the economy going, but who really cares about their family life and what they’re wearing today?

          • Old Henry

            Ahhhh. Thanks Karolyn. That “splains” why I had never heard of them. I NEVER watch reality shows – and NEVER will. I will burn my TV on the brush pile first.

            On second thought I’ll just rip the cable offn the side of my house and use the TV to watch John Wayne / Chint Eastwood / Lee Marvin movies on my VCR / DVD once I “figer” out how the *$(!# thing works.

          • Joe H.

            Old Henry,
            When a close valued friend of mine died, he left me his entire collection of EVERY movie John Wayne made. One of the most valuable gifts I’ve ever been given!!!

          • independent thinker

            Old Henry, it depends on how you define “reality show”. Top Shot, American Guns, American Pickers, Sons of Guns, American Restoration, and others are considered “reality shows” but are interesting and informative shows.

          • Joe H.

            IT,
            I never miss those unless it can’t be helped. Loved that bowling ball exploding from the 50 cal sniper weapon on American Guns!!! I could just see some of THOSE along our southern border!!! WHOOOEEE!! wouldn’t even have to get lethal, just shoot things around them!!!

    • DaveH

      The key point here is that the Kardashian Fans aren’t forced to adulate Kim and aren’t forced to contribute to her enrichment, unlike the taxpayers who are forced to contribute to Government’s schemes and goals.

  • bill

    Such a true article. When we use less,downsize and do other things to make our lives simpler, the happiness increases. Do not worry about people making more money than you. Be happy with what you have. Strive to be better and perhaps make more money if you wish. But don’t compare yourself with other peoples wealth. Who knows what problems they may have in their lives. We live in the greatest country on earth. USA. Enjoy that every day that you can, and the happiness will increase.

  • Al Sieber

    Maybe it doesn’t buy happiness, but it could buy you freedom.

    • Angel Wannabe

      Al, and it can buy you a Presidency!

      • Doc Sarvis

        Correct Angel, just ask George Bush.

        • Angel Wannabe

          Doc, it buys you commies, to post on conservative sites to rattle the sheep too! :)

          • JeffH

            :) LMAO on that one! :)

        • Brad

          Well Doc, Ohmama collect over 760 mill during his first campaign, bought his first term but won’t buy his second!

          • Mary

            I hope you’re right because I’m not sure. I have to see it to believe it, I never subestimate the stupidity of the people anymore.

        • CJM

          Bush? Don’t think so. george soros bought and paid for the presidency in order to place his hatchet man, obammy, in the oval office.

      • DaveH

        It can only buy a Presidency because the voters are, by and large, uneducated about politics. All the campaign contributions in the world would do no good if the voters researched and vetted their candidates thoroughly.
        Now, more than ever before, we can do that thanks to the Internet. We can easily find out how our elected Representatives have voted on an issue, and much more about them. There is no longer any excuse for people to vote in the blind about their candidates.

        • Angel Wannabe

          Your right Daveh, in some repects as in years ago, but In my opinion, as far as our votes counting today, I think our vote is token and leads us into a false sense of security, making us believe we have a say in who’s elected.__but experience has it, when we DO vote new blood in there, nothing changes, it only gets worse. Now on the other hand, is the reason nothing changes, because there is never enough like minded individuals in politics to make a change?_-Or is it the puppeteers controling the strings?__ I’d have to see some proof of change before I’d be inclined to believe anything else, for me it’s been since Reagan. that I’ve seen any positive change.__

          • DaveH

            The problem is that we expect the Foxes to guard the Hen house. It isn’t going to happen. Leaders, like everyone, like to get as much of the pie for themselves as they can. We need to awaken to that reality and ride herd on them. A good example is the half of the tea party candidates who caved to the debt-ceiling raising. If the voters let those guys stay in office, the voters are fools.

          • Angel Wannabe

            DaveH, See thats exactly what I mean, have the “newbies really caved” or is it that the TPTB, just tell the “Newbies” when they’re sworn into office, that no matter what platform they ran and won on, THIS IS HOW ITS GOING TO BE?

          • DaveH

            No doubt they try, but Ron Paul is good evidence that they don’t have to give in.

      • Old Henry

        Speaking of the presidency, here is a link to a Town Hall Straw Poll that will be held in December. You can register and they will send you an email when it starts.

        http://townhall.com/nationalprimary/

        Remember, RON PAUL.

        • Joe H.

          Old Henry,
          thanks for the link. Just signed up and will send it to all on my mail list!!

  • Lily

    You know, you’re right, money doesn’t buy happiness BUT money does buy choices. I bet each and every person who says it doesn’t buy happiness has a roof over their heads and food on the table and clothes on their back. Tell this saying to someone who doesn’t have these things and see if they agree with you. Its easy to offer cliches when you’re not part of the problem.

    • ChristyK

      Having a roof over your head, food on the table, & clothes on your back can make a difference because they are basic needs. Unfortunately, most people who complain about being poor and not having their fair share also have several TVs, cable or satellite, high speed internet, high end cell phones and a car for every family member. In most of the world and during all of the history of mankind, that is rich. People need to be grateful if they have their basic needs met. Sure it is nice to have enough leftover for at least a few luxuries, but we should be content if our basic needs are met.

  • Mirjana

    Thanks for contemplating what true hapiness means. This society had been build on conusmerism. We have been raised and geared into believing that possessing more is going to make us happy. What truly makes us happy is having the roof over our heads, food on our table, health and healthy relationships. Humans can contend with much less even in this society.

    • Old Henry

      Yes Mirjana, that is a good point that I overlooked. If you do not have your health NOTHING else matters.

  • Francisco

    Of course money doesn’t bring happiness, it actually fetches it!

  • john niolon

    Good column today, John. I learned this lesson several years ago when my grandson was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Thanks to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, he’s all good and growing into a fine young man.

    The outpouring of love and care and support from our friends and family and even strangers was overwhelming. It was truly a humbling experience and taught me a great lesson. From that day I’ve been trying to “pay it forward”. It doesn’t take lots of money or time. Just do what you can for who you can. You’ll receive 10 times the joy of person you’re helping. It’s all about that one sentence Jesus gave us “do unto others…”

    Thanks for posting that today… lots of people need to be reminded of (or taught the first time) this lesson..

    sincerely
    John

    • JeffH

      john niolon, a wonderful gift of life for your grandson and I’m sure for yourself and all of the people that stepped forward in suppost.
      This story just added a little smile to my face. Thanks you for sharing it.

    • Joe H.

      john niolon,
      A good friend of mines daughter was born with a tumor over her internal organs on her side. thanks to St. Jude, also, she is fine today and plays the violin professionally. A truly beautiful girl. He has since died, but I know he died a very proud father!!!

  • Frvianna

    Certainly, money doesn’t bring happiness, it actually fetches it!

  • http://www.easyinvest.co.za peter

    Happiness defies definition and is momentary to most people because unless it is sustained in the mind it no longer exists, so they need to carry on accumulating the things that they would believe make them happy. They do not understand that happiness evolves out of being grateful, humble and compassionate . When they understand the difference between gratitude and greed, then they will experience real happiness other than the kind that makes one feel happy temporarily,like drugs or booze. True happiness is inner contentment and gratitude,and has got nothing to do with possessions.Money cannot buy anyone a “state of mind”, that has to be developed within.

  • Tamlia

    Whether we are rich or poor, we all have a void. The only way to fill that emptiness is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    • Karolyn

      Tamlia – There are millions of people who find true happiness without Jesus. There are other religions and beliefs, you know.

      • Marty S.

        Ahem, Karolyn this is a conservative blog and it is likely the majority of those who post here are likely Christian in one form or another and last I knew it was OK to share our beliefs with others here concerning this. If it offends your senses then move on to a site where it is not OK to discuss these thing. By the way may Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and yours this day.

      • Joe H.

        karolyn,
        And there are untold millions that get by fine in their lives without your space ship!!!

  • Angel Wannabe

    Happiness via money is quick fix, fleeting at best and flies away when the money is gone. Then those who rely on materials for happiness, go out in search for the next quick fix.__Happiness comes from within. _It is an inner peace & inner strength, capable of producing it to anyone at anytime, irregardless of circumstance.But your thought process has to be open to it._It is a mind set!

  • http://www.endureinstrength.org Raylyn Terrell

    Used to think I wanted something or other . . . life threw some hardballs . . . so scaled down the “wants” from time to time . . .
    The times of reassessing built in some wisdom. While looking for answers, started to study the Bible. BINGO! It’s all there.
    - Be content with what you have.
    - Your Father (Who loves you) will answer the prayers of the needy (not the wanty).
    - Check out your talents, skills, resources . . .
    - Forgive, and give to others . . .
    The foregoing proved to be the surefire formula for my happiness.
    Why complain? The blessings far exceed the shortages . . .
    Now, going-on-80-years, am content, creatively productive, blessed with true friendships, and looking forward to forever . . . Will pray the same for you!

    • laneybcoolio

      Amen Brother!

    • Joe H.

      Raylyn,
      I didn’t know we had someone here so RICH!!!!

  • CP

    I will agree that happiness does come from helping others, but there has to be a certain level of comfort in your life as well for that to really matter. If you are down on your luck, out on the street and no place to lay your head other than a log in the nearest park, then helping someone else to better themselves does little to make you happy. It may lift your spirits for a bit, but does nothing long term.

  • clarence swinney

    WOW!AT LAST A SUPERB ARTICLE
    happiness is key for my book Lifeaholic-work for a Life not just a Living
    Four values–Family-Health-Work-Finances
    I am 87 and most blessed on earth.
    I have had great success in my four values.
    More than I deserved or earned.

  • Raggs

    Giving is always a good thing IF it is done on a personal one on one basis however forced “giving” through government is a demonic retardation…

  • clarence swinney

    One happiness is in helping those less lucky but deserving of help.
    Cheer those in a rest home. Easy.Two hours per week.
    We no longer have the close knit neighborhoods.
    I know few on my three block street Move in/out.

    • Raggs

      Yup ~ Do you know why your close neigbors keep to themselves?

      Our society has been indocrinated by the government NOT to trust anyone and as a matter of fact we are told to SPY on our neigbors..
      We would have alot more giving if the government would keep out of our personal business and our private lives.

    • Old Henry

      Yeah clarence, we no longer know our neighbors, and that sadly removes a lot from all of our lives.

      Just 2 hours ago I was speaking with an older fella who lives about a half mile down the road about the state of affairs we are in. He commented that we don’t know each other anymore. I agreed and replied that we indeed do not “neighbor” any more.

      We are all wrapped up in our “stuff” and I don’t know how to reverse that in the bigger picture.

      Perhaps “events” will soon rectify the situation.

      • Angel Wannabe

        Old Henry, I’m hearin that!__We’ve been cleaning our property up from the Halloween storm, and a neighbor who lives across the street now about 5 years, got in her car and drove out the drive way, I waved and she flatly turned her head!

        • Old Henry

          Angel:

          Give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe her Obama statue fell off the dashboard as she accelerated and she was merely looking to see where it landed…

          • Angel Wannabe

            Old Henry, It’s a shame, Man O Man, when we were kids, we knew everyone along our stretch of road and also all the other country roads as well._ We waved to everyone when they passed, and they waved back!-What’s really sad, is this neighbor I spoke about has a husband and Son, while we’ve spoken to the son, I wouldn’t know the husband if I fell over him!

          • Joe H.

            Angel Wannabe,
            I found a way to get to know most of my neighbors a few years ago. I had a daughter in marching band and I chaperoned them often on the bus to competitions, games and even disney!! They knew me through their kids. Matter of fact, the year after my daughter graduated, a group of the kids payed me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever gotten. A group of them begged the band director to ask me to chaperone that year as well. Unfortunatly I couldn’t get away. I did, however go to EVERY home game that year, and cheered them profusely!!

          • independent thinker

            Angel, where I live while we don’t talk to each other like we should everyone (almost) still waves when they meet you on the road. I do talk to my closest neighbor from time to time and have talked to others a time or two but as I said we do not visit like we should.

  • dan

    I’ve got to admit that I never thought being a millionaire would make me
    happy…but I get downright giddy now thinking of how frustrated my X
    is now that she can’t get her hands on my stash :)
    The surest revenge is living well.

    • Old Henry

      Ahhh dan, don’t get sidetracked by your X as Little Barry and his fellow communists know full well how to get to your stash.

  • http://michaelamundsenfilm.com Michael Amundsen

    Another excellent article from John Meyer. I worry that too many of us in our culture have not been able to recognize true value and we grab at the superficial and the material because it’s just easier to say that I have a lot of this so I must be successful. My grandparents were Norwegian homesteaders in southeastern Montana. My parents didn’t have it easy either. But I thank God for what they gave me and the values they taught.

    • CJM

      What you say is true for some, but not all. Really poor people have nothing to grab–either superficially or materially. People who are able to have 3 meals a day and a comfortable bed at night haven’t a clue of what it means to be truly poor—try asking a mom who sends her child to bed hungry most of the time, or talk to a child who lives that life. It isn’t always because the parent(s) don’t care or are afflicted with some sort of addiction because there are many cases of impoverishment that exists just because. Having worked in the field of human services you do see more of the lesser endowed and you also understand that not everyone is a deadbeat who deserves the cards nature dealt them. And even among these unfortunates, not all ‘qualify’ for food stamps or other welfare assistance (although a damn illegal gets it all without even proving citizenship).

  • CJM

    Happiness is a state of mind….and has nothing to do with money. However, too much money may make a person indulgent and too little money may cause a person to be hungry. What I prefer is just enough to make me feel comfortable…and I don’t need megabucks to do that!

  • Roger

    The PAIN of Starving, being Cold and alone or zerious damage to ones body is enough to cause UNHAPPINESS…..

    Happiness is a STATE of MIND, EXCEPT when its NOT!!!

  • 45caliber

    Money can’t buy happiness … but it can make the living comfortable while you are miserable.

    • Old Henry

      LOL 45! You dound a little like my dad. He used to say “Money isn’t everything. There’s always poverty and misery.” He grew up on the farm in the 30s and 30s. They had enough to eat, but not much else.

  • DaveH

    Most important to happiness is the Freedom to voluntarily trade and otherwise interact with the people of our choice, and the Freedom to control our own bodies and property.
    Big Government interferes with that. Let’s change things.
    For Individual Freedom, Free Markets, Limited Government, Personal Responsibility, and PEACE — Vote Libertarian:
    http://libertarianparty.org/issues

  • KJQ

    “Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy a better state of misery”

    Well, the secret to happiness is not really a secret, it is loving God and others – it’s right there in God’s Word, the Bible. Just one more reason that God is real and the Bible is truth.

    • Old Henry

      “Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy a better state of misery”

      And in The Land of Stincoln where our governors make our license plates it buys government.

  • http://personallibertydigest not fooled

    True happiness comes from god alone and faith we have in our lord jesus christ.

    • Jeep

      I read somewhere that in America if you look at an income around $75,000 you will find the happiest people. It is enough so you can take care of necessities without too much worry, but not so much that it takes time to manage the “extras”. My income is considerably higher, and I can tell you that it comes down to time. I have scaled back, but I still spend way too much time managing my posessions and accounts. In the end, it takes time from my family and friends. I have a great vacation house on the Potomac, but do not have the time to spend there with my family. It’s ironic that in the final analysis, my wife and I are in the process of scaling back to give us time.

      • Karolyn

        Too many people spend their lives working for the almighty dollar and missing the things that really matter, having no time to enjoy that money or their families. Many say, “Wait til I retire” and then up and die before that happens.

  • Roy Jarvis

    Happiness is the product of:
    Something to do,
    Something to love and
    Something to hope for.

    • Marty S.

      Well said Roy.

  • http://www,pappymart.com John Hanna

    That’s what Glenn Beck says – he isn’t afraid to fail because he has lived without money. I have little coming in but feel good about it – I am smart enough to have prepared, live on agricultural land, learned how to grow and raise things and am almost self sufficient and it didn’t cost anyone else anything.
    Very fortunately my wife goes along with it and my children, much better off kind of, have a place to fall back on and care for me and not about dividing my assets.
    I wish I had had more success but if I had I would probably wish I had had more success. There is something primitive and satisfying about being close to the soil.

  • brian

    America gets the best president money can buy.

  • s c

    Money might give you an ‘edge’ over your neighbor, IF your main goal in life is to have more toys, a bigger house or more ex-wives. On the whole, though, having money attracts people like flies. If you’re “TOO RICH,” you’re an automatic target [unless you go out of your way to buy a prez or some hooker wannabes in Congress].
    America has had many chances in the last 100 years to understand what money is and what it isn’t. It pays the bills. It gives you some breathing room. The one thing money CAN’T do is give you a good government [Obummer and people like him PROVE that maxim EACH DAY].
    And now that the dollar is about to collapse (via criminal politicians and the Fed), money is about as useful as toilet paper. What do we have to lose by having politician’s faces on greenbacks right
    now?

    • Marty S.

      Maybe the fed can print new Bernanke bucks that come in a roll of soft paper about 4 inches wide with pictures of our favorite politician on it starting with the president. Single use only of course.

      • Joe H.

        Marty S.,
        B.I.N.G.O!!!!~!~!~! Sorta gives new meaning to “for that get up and go feeling!!”

  • DaveH
  • Bill wright

    Being happy isn’t about being rich,or having alot of money.Its about being contend with what you got,good family,and good health.nOBODY SHOULD BE HUNG UP OVER MONEY.i’M NOT SAYING MONEYS NOT IMPRORTANT,IT is to a point.But it should never replace family,or good friends.

  • Cep.

    When you die you can’t take it with you.Make the most of your life while you can,because the years can pass you by if you aren’t careful,they go by fast enough as it is..

  • Karen K.

    I Timothy 6:10-”For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Money doesn’t buy happiness, the only way you can have true happiness is to have the love of God within your heart and be living for Him. He doesn’t want us to be very poor, but he also doesn’t want us to be so rich, that we forget who our God is. I’d rather die a poor person, than a rich one. Remember the parable of Lazarus and the rich man; what happened to the rich man, and what happened to Lazarus? Just a thought to ponder.

  • jopa

    Old Henry;You have all the Merle Haggard or any other artist at your fingertips.Just go to “You Tube” and listen to what you want to for free.Sometimes you may have to listen to a 15 second commercial.

  • jopa

    Wow it’s been six days since I placed the above post and no comments afterwards.Everyone must be on You Tube listening to Merle Haggard.Merle is another one Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to when Merle was doing time in the joint.Good move and good music!!

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