Money and happiness?

by eyeslice 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • eyeslice

    Everyone in the truth, knows it is the "love of money", not money itself that is wrong. I am well aware that money in itself does not bring happiness.

    What I detect though amongst the Witnesses is almost an antipathy to money and wealth. One sister I was speaking to the other day complained about all the spending that goes on at Xmas. I tried to explain to her that unless people bought goods, the economy collapses and people get thrown out of work and a viscous cycle of economic down turn starts. She incidentally is on benefit, and is therefore dependent on the government and the economic prosperity that it needs to generate.

    Also, as witnesses, we subjected to the "Happy though hungry" philosophy, where brothers and sisters who are poor are held up as an example to the more materialistic amongst us. I have seen at first hand the poverty of under-developed countries and can assure anyone that being on the streets without money, medical aid or education is no recipe for happiness.

    I have always felt this is a hard dilemma for all religious people. Personally, wealth is not motivator in my life but without going as far as selling all my belongings and giving to the poor, I not sure where we can draw the line.


  • Mary

    I guess I'm not a good Christian, cause I just KNOW I'd be a hell of alot happier if I had alot more money!!!

    I remember an interview though, with Demi Moore several years ago. The interviewer asked "does money buy happiness?" she replied "money can make life NICE, but happiness has to come from within."

    And lets not forget some of the most famous people in the 20th century, Elvis, Marilyn Munroe, Princess Diana, who apparently had it all: looks, money, fame, but they sure as hell weren't very happy with it. (I'd be different though, I just KNOW!!)

    Extreme poverty or extreme wealth is not a good thing......extreme wealth can make you spoiled, selfish, arrogant with the knowledge that you have absolutely everything in the world. On the other hand, extreme poverty buys you ill health, malnutrition, lack of clean water, a job, low self-esteem, depression and desperation.

  • Windchaser

    I can't quote the passages, but I know that the Bible says somewhere that having too much or too little money isn't a good thing. Happiness comes when you are able to have life's necessities.

    I took a class about budgeting. The main lesson I learned is that we each are responsible for our debts and we should be able to take care of ourselves without depending on others to carry our load. I've been on public assistance myself, so I know how small you can feel when you have to depend on the government to feed and care for you. (Have you ever presented food stamps in a check out line?) So, again, the Bible principle seems right on to me. You are happiest when you can take care of yourself in this life.

  • happyout

    Somene once said "Money can't buy happines, but it can sure rent it for a while!" I think it's funny that people try to lay blame at the door of an inanimate object. The truth is, you will be happy if you are determined to be happy, no matter how much money you have. You may be more comfortable with money, but you won't necessarily be happy. We were poor and on welfare when I was growing up, but we were very happy because we had each other.

  • Skeptic

    I have been well-off and I have been poor. Trust me, money does buy happiness!

    Will money buy ultimate happiness? No, you can be a millionaire and unhappy, especially if your child has a horrible disease or if your spouse is abusive.

    But everything else being equal, money does buy happiness. Studies show that those who make over $100,000/year are about twice as happy as those who make less.

    Money is a lubricant that allows you to slide through life easier. It allows you to buy your way out of problems, and quickly. The less problems you have, the more likely you are happy. Not to mention you also have more means to achieve your dreams and goals which does bring happiness.

    Of course, one can be poor and happy. Currently, I am the poorest I have been in my entire life. Yet, I am reasonably happy. My relatives are not facing the serious problems they had a few years ago. I am no longer constantly dealing with literally life and death issues. Also, I have time for my son, and we have grown very close. I will take the problems I have now over the problems I had three years ago when I had more money.


  • freedom96

    Actually, if one reads the bible, there is nothing wrong with having money. Look at some of the most dedicated ones to God; they were among the wealthiest in the world.

    If you don't have money, it is hard to help those in need. I really believe that there is nothing wrong in the pursuit of happiness.

    The fact is, yes, money may not make one happy. But neither does poverty!!

    Here is another fact to think about: If money was not a challenge in your own home, how many fights would there be with your spouse? IF you were really honest about it? May not solve all problems by any means, but I would venture a guess that if you took all money challenges out of your life, 95% of all problems would go away. That would leave plenty of time to handle the other part.

  • Sara Annie
    Sara Annie

    I had an economics professor who, when talking about winning the lottery posed the question: "Given that statistics indicate that people who win the lottery more often than not experience family discordance due to demands for cash from relatives, mismanage the funds either themselves or through trusting incompetant financial advisors, and generally spend every penny and end up worse off than they were prior to the windfall, would you really want to put yourself through that kind of misery?"

    The answer, of course, is "Yes, I'd like to give it a shot."

    As for JWs being anti-money, I'd have to say that I've found just the opposite to be true. My closest JW acquaintances are some of the most materialistic people I've ever met. These particular people are obsessed by having more than anyone else, going so far as to list the prices of the clothing, jewelry, plane tickets (you name it!) they have just purchased. And then they turn around and start tossing scripture at them about various other vices. They are the least self-aware people that I've ever known. I love to listen to them expound about how "wordly" others are and then watch them get into their $75,000 SUV...

    Of course, I have figured out how to become rich myself, but I can't find anyone willing to give me a dime every time I hear about someone in their congregation that is on medication for one psychological problem or another...

    Edited by - Sara Annie on 3 January 2003 18:28:59


    Ye$$$$, I like $money$, becau$$$e I git to $$$urround my$$$elf with lot$$$$$$ of pretty thing$$$$$!


  • JH

    The catholic church will give money to the poor in need. Some catholic churches do give about 40$ to buy some food. What does the Watchtower do when a person is very poor in the congregation? the only thing I saw them do is say sister or brother x has the same amount of money as you do and they can get along. Why can't you? All you get is examples of others who can get along with little. Don't expect any cash

  • RubyTuesday

    I have been very poor and it causes alot of stress. I now have a nice little nest egg and I sleep better and don't worry as much. Life is good!

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