Does Wealth Equate With Happiness?

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  • #605589

    avhaben
    Participant

    Would becoming wealthy usually make a person happier than if they hadn’t become wealthy?

    #1157399

    Poster
    Member

    I don’t know if it will MAKE you happy, but it helps out!

    #1157400

    “Does money buy happiness? Well it buys a waverunner..have you ever seen someone frowning on a waverunner? It can’t be done!” – Daniel Tosh

    #1157401

    Englishman
    Member

    Once a person has their bare basic necessities, additional wealth does not make a person any happier.

    It can make their life more difficult.

    #1157402

    147
    Participant

    I sat twice at a lecture of Rav Avigdor Miller ZTKLLH’H, where he pulled out of his pocket a newspaper cut out, from the Chicago Tribune, which listed the 10 wealthiest people {I don’t recall if the 10 wealthiest US Citizens or 10 wealthiest in the world} some 10 years earlier, and then a follow up of these same 10 people some 10 years later:- Some of them were in Latin America running away from their debts, and others were divorced, and others were in jail, and others were on the poverty line.

    #1157403

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Yes. Usually.

    #1157404

    just my hapence
    Participant

    Nope, but neither does poverty.

    #1157405

    interjection
    Participant

    Happiness is a choice.

    #1157406

    Some of the happiest people have been some of the (financially) poorest.

    #1157407

    just my hapence
    Participant

    And some of the unhappiest have also been the financially poorest…

    #1157408

    Some of the happiest people have been some of the (financially) poorest.

    And some of the unhappiest have also been the financially poorest…

    Which proves wealth does not equate to happiness.

    #1157409

    RABBAIM
    Participant

    Mesilas Yesharoim writes that wealth does not bring happiness.

    Shlomo Hamelech decried wealth in Koheles.

    Gemaros alll over speak about the increased worries of those who have more.

    Poverty? Mishna says it is all in our state of mind. The way we handle it.

    Read Rebbetiz Kanievsky bio and see how much she avoided any excesses.

    Esav was given Olam Hazeh. Yaakov is given an Ohel.

    wealth is a BIG nisayon. One needs to be BIG to handle it right. Most don’t. Unfrotunately

    #1157410

    on the ball
    Participant

    No but it can make suffering a little less uncomfortable

    #1157411

    dhl144
    Member

    “who is rich? one that is happy with his share”

    #1157412

    avhaben
    Participant

    OTB: Please explain how you think wealth makes suffering less uncomfortable.

    #1157413

    funnybone
    Participant

    The research of happiness and wealth is: people who are financially stable are happier than poor people, while people who are rich aren’t happier than comfortable people.

    #1157414

    funnybone
    Participant

    avhaben: People who are able to hire help, take vacation when necessary, and buy items that can assist them with their particular issue are less unhappy.

    The question though isn’t whether people who are suffering are suffering less when they’re wealthy, it’s whether general happiness is equated with wealth.

    #1157415

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    There are also gemaras praising people who were successful in this world. Judasim doesn’t consider wealth bad like some religions but it isn’t the be-all and end-all either.

    #1157416

    avhaben
    Participant

    funnybone: Are you implying that not being able to afford a costly (i.e. other than a low or no cost) vacation makes one less happy?

    #1157417

    funnybone
    Participant

    avhaben-

    1. Some people are thrilled to take a two day vacation and that’s enough for them for the year. Others will be unhappy with it and need/want to do more. Can you compare a 10 day trip to Eretz Yisroel or lehavdil Orlando with a two day trip?

    2. In my post I only said vacation, everybody has their own standard of vacation that they can/can’t afford.

    #1157418

    mosheemes2
    Member

    As I suspect many of us on the east coast are learning indirectly this week, to an extent money does equate with happiness. Having electricity, running water, and stable access to food (and the knowledge that that is likely to continue) does make people happier. There’s an economist (Richard Layard) who estimated that the cut off point is basically where a society is making a per capita income of $15,000 a year. After that, increases in wealth don’t really increase happiness.

    #1157419

    interjection
    Participant

    funnybone: How does money justify overall greater happiness? I understand how it would create more options for more enjoyable vacations, but does it guarantee more enjoyable vacations? And is it the vacation itself that causes happiness or is it our attitude that creates happiness?

    Does it really make suffering easier? If a person is in so much pain that each and every position only offers more pain, does it matter how much the chair or mattress cost?

    Money makes one problem easier, and that is the worry of not having money. It does not help solve any other problem in the world, especially not emotional difficulties.

    #1157420

    avhaben
    Participant

    funnybone: My question wasn’t about getting thrilled; it was about happiness.

    I understand you to feel that if a person wants more than, say, a two day trip to Orlando and their standard of vacation is a 10 day getaway to Israel, they may be an unhappy person if they can’t afford what they want.

    Doesn’t that also imply that if they cannot afford air travel altogether they will likely be unhappy?

    #1157421

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    I think if your happiness is dependent upon obtaining a certain standard, financially or otherwise, that the people you associate yourself with maintain, and that lacking in any of those areas would make you feel inadequate, you are increasing your chances of feeling unhappy. On the flip side, you may use this as motivation to succeed, which can be a healthy thing.

    However, a person who can feel happy, independent of any standard that may be defined by others as necessary for happiness, will have a much easier time being happy.

    #1157422

    funnybone
    Participant

    I have a relative whose mother suffered from depression. The father was able to afford cleaning help, therapy, and yes, vacations for the two of them. They even went away for Pesach (please no comments if you disagree, it was a big help for the mom). Do you think money helped?

    I work as a special ed teacher. I have a student with LD and behavior issues. Parents are able to afford a behavior therapist for nightly hw, a mid-winter vacation with a babysitter who comes along, and money for sp ed camp while they go to EY to recharge their batteries. Money helps?

    Do you know anyone who has unfortunately used Chai Lifeline and all their resources? It helps a lot. Donate if you can. Let your money help someone who really can use it.

    BTW, this is off the topic. Regular people also get to recharge their batteries with a 10 day vacation. You can’t compare a 2 day to a 10 day. You can’t compare it if you “get out of dodge” to a staycation. Regular people also enjoy extra cleaning help before Pesach. Regular people also enjoy eating out once in a while. If you’re happy without it, great! Some rich people are unhappy no matter what they have. The research is about the average person.

    #1157423

    Naysberg
    Member

    The Halacha is that if a wealthy man loses his fortune, the community must provide him with enough charity so that he can live at the rich standards he is used to.

    This is because it is painful to downgrade ones living standards.

    #1157424

    avhaben
    Participant

    Does anyone agree with funnybone that a person who can afford a 10-day vacation, cleaning help and eating in restaurants will usually be a happier person than someone who cannot afford those things?

    #1157425

    interjection
    Participant

    “Does anyone agree with funnybone that a person who can afford a 10-day vacation, cleaning help and eating in restaurants will usually be a happier person than someone who cannot afford those things?”

    I agree that the ability to go on some level of vacation, to have cleaning help and to have the potential to eat out are pretty necessary. I don’t think those are luxuries.

    #1157426

    avhaben
    Participant

    interjection: funnybone said he thinks someone who can afford a 10-day international vacation will probably be happier than someone who can “only” afford a 2-day vacation to Orlando.

    Agree or disagree?

    #1157427

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I agree that the ability to go on some level of vacation, to have cleaning help and to have the potential to eat out are pretty necessary. I don’t think those are luxuries.

    If that’s where you are holding then I pray Hashem always bentches you with such.

    (that was not sarcastic)

    #1157428

    Health
    Participant

    avhaben -“Would becoming wealthy usually make a person happier than if they hadn’t become wealthy?”

    I dunno. Get me some and I’ll let you know!

    #1157429

    dhl144
    Member

    thats a very general question…depends on each person and every1 is different and each person will be affected differently…there is no straight answer for every1 to the question if $$$=happiness

    #1157430

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTLawyer, do you have any input on whether being wealthy causes one to be happier than had they been middle class?

    Torah613Torah thinks it does.

    #1157431

    justsmile613
    Participant

    Wealth does not equate to happiness HOWEVER if a person is struggling and cannot make ends meet and this causes distress for him and for his family on a regular basis, then YES money can buy the happiness he needs, but it does not automatically eliminate regular problems

    #1157432

    what do the rabbis say in pirkei avos & other places? more money brings more worry & a person with riches is never satisfied etc…. he just wants more even if he is already a billionaire. BUT HE IS NEVER HAPPY/SATISFIED

    #1157433

    mw13
    Participant

    Wealth certainly does not equate with happiness – you’re totally barking up the wrong tree. What you should be discussing is http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/alcohol

    #1157434

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTLAWYER?

    #1157435

    Avi K
    Participant

    Chazal say that a wealthy person is someone who is happy with his lot.

    #1157436

    Joseph
    Participant

    That be true, but the question at hand is whether economic wealth generally provides a greater level of happiness than being economically middle class.

    #1157437

    Joseph:

    the honest answer is no, because as soon as he returns from vacation he is always looking for extras that he feels he needs when in truth he really doesnt NEED it his human psychological mind convinces him that he needs it. rather its a new couch or a 3rd car etc…

    #1157438

    blubluh
    Participant

    Like many things, the problem is about assumptions and perception.

    First, most people assume that “unhappiness” is the opposite of “happiness”, but that may not necessarily be the case. This isn’t merely a semantic argument, but something more fundamental. Must “happiness” be a binary state, on or off?

    Perhaps one can be both happy and unhappy simultaneously or neither.

    There’s also the issues of duration and range. Does a moment of either category count or must it be all encompassing? Can I be happy with some aspects of my life and unhappy with others? How does one solve for X – the “happiness factor” – in that equation?

    Even ignoring that, Chaza”l said some very cryptic things about “simcha” (again, it’s often translated to mean “happiness”). For example, there’s no “simcha” except through meat and wine (pardon my simplistic translation). Just for the sake of argument, let’s just focus on the physical experience.

    One may very much enjoy the taste, texture, resulting satiety and other sensory aspects of consuming these food items, but would the usual understanding of the term “happiness” best describe one’s emotional state? In my reading of some of the most glowing reviews written by culinary experts of wines, restaurants and chefs’ dishes, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered the word “happiness” (or its variants) among the accolades. Odd, no?

    As to perception, we also tend to fill in the blanks. When we presume that unhappiness is the lack of external “happiness” ingredients or the presence of “unhappiness” ingredients, we conclude that “happiness” is achieved by “correcting” the balance.

    While it may sound logically compelling, is it true?

    #1157439

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Does wealth equate With happiness? I don’t know; but, for one, ask Robin Williams.

    #1157440

    Joseph
    Participant

    cherry, are you alluding to the fact that suicide rates are higher in wealthier countries and that people who earn 10 percent less than their neighbors are 4.5 percent more likely to commit suicide, including among high-earning individuals?

    #1157441

    No but more richer people are destined for a future of depression cause there NO END NO LIMIT to them ever being satisfied and not wanting more and more.

    #1157442

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    That’s not necessarily true. I know some rich-ish people who are perfectly satisfied with what they have and live just like other people, just with a little bit more wiggle room.

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