A conversation I had with someone a long time ago suddenly popped into my head.
I was telling him over dinner one day, about this quote I really liked which I read on the internet.
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
And I forgot what I said next, but it was something along the lines of “perhaps working so hard or being rich isn’t that great afterall… like they say, money can’t buy you happiness anyway”, and he said something that hit me really hard afterward.
He said, “Oh, that’s where you’re wrong Jess. The people who came up with THAT quote were people who weren’t making a lot of money themselves. When you make as much money as I do, trust me – you’ll be VERY happy.”
This was coming from a multi-millionaire, his name I shall not disclose, but I know him well enough to know he wasn’t pulling all this shit from his backside.
I was speaking to someone worked hard and became successful and rich. And I wondered, for just a second – can a whole lot of money really buy you happiness?
Is it the sheer amount of dollar signs you have in your bank account that you derive satisfaction from, or is it knowing that you have surpassed normality and achieved greater results than others?
But then I took a look at him and I quickly dismissed that thought.
He didn’t seem like a truly happy man to me.
Yes, I’m sure becoming rich and successful can be very rewarding indeed, but it certainly isn’t enough to make someone happy.. for the most valuable things in life are things you can’t buy.
Money can’t buy you love, happiness and knowledge…
You can pay a woman to keep you company, but how are you going to sleep well at night knowing she’s only after your money?
You can treat yourself to extravagant holidays and get the best of everything, but who are you going to share these things in life with?
You can be rich and successful in terms of business, but that doesn’t mean you still won’t end up failing at life.
Because, in my humble opinion, the greatest failure in life is not the man with an empty stomach who couldn’t earn enough money to keep it stomach filled.
It is the man with the empty heart who couldn’t find enough love to give and to receive even with all that money he’s earned.
People say, “you can never have too much money” but I say, you can certainly spend too much time trying to make money that you neglect other important things in life.
I’ve seen really poor people still happy, because they lack so much that they actually appreciate what they do have.
And I’ve seen really rich people quite miserable, because they are too pre-occupied with what they have that they don’t realize what they lack is something swiping credit cards won’t get them.
So I asked myself, “Would I rather be a poor man with a complete, happy but hungry family to feed or would I rather be a rich man who can provide his family all sorts of luxuries except the basic love a parent should be able to give?”
I found myself choosing the first option.
It’s easier to fill an empty stomach than trying to teach one how to love and live life to the fullest.
You can give that hungry man money to feed his family and they will be happy and full, but what are you going to give that rich man to make his life complete?
Everyone needs something to complete them. Usually, career and status isn’t enough.
(p.s – Of course I’m not talking about so poor until no food to eat then die lah. Even love and happiness cannot save you from dying of hunger. I’m talking about poor but still surviving.)
Money is not the key to happiness, but it’s definitely one of the bare essentials… there is no denying it.
But people still seem to forget that there are some things in life that cannot be bought.
Nice to know. Sad in some ways. All in all, very personal to me…