Money doesn’t buy happiness. Why rich people don’t want to be poor?
Hi! I think we can all agree that on a basic level, having money and being rich has something to do with happiness. But there’s another perspective as well. Once anyone becomes rich, they usually get used to such a lifestyle, and then due to societal pressure, he/she has to flaunt their wealth (but now too much), protect their money, and maintain social expectations among others who are as rich or richer than them. They closely tie their own identity to the approval of these people.
That’s just one reason rich people don’t want to be poor. Let’s discuss more.
I agree with you in general. Every person has a certain standard of living, usually above the poverty line, and very few people can handle living below that line (being poor) without suffering psychologically on some level. Yes, sometimes you can buck up and stay optimistic, but thinking every night and morning about how you will pay your bills, or how you will pay for a family member’s doctor visit… who would want to live like that if they had a choice? Contrary to many myths and fables, poverty is not noble. It brings tension, grief, disappointment, and much more that can get in the way of positive emotions and outlooks.
It’s also true that for every problem money solves, it can also invent a new one. I’ve drawn a curve here as a U-shape, which might help explain what I’m talking about.
We have to agree, money is not a guarantee of happiness. It makes life easier in a way, but who said anything about peace of mind coming solely from life being easy? Can a person be happy just because they can buy whatever they want? No. It’s demonstrably true that some people are rich, but remain unwell, despite also being in good health and having no glaring issues in their immediate lives. Perhaps they are sacrificing too much to earn more money or maintain their current income, and now have no time for family, friends, their hobbies, etc. What then? Moreover, when a person becomes rich, they have become a minority among all people, further exacerbating any previous loneliness or social issues.
It doesn’t even have to be about rich people. When I first started making really good money, I found myself no longer connecting as well with past friends who often talked about the jobs they hated and money struggles. I hadn’t gotten rich, I had just moved up a little in the middle-class area, but it had a ripple effect on my social life that I had to learn to deal with.
People often lack contentment through a desire for approval and fear that they need permission to change themselves. I am not against anyone getting rich, and then getting richer. Go for it, I say. For me, financial freedom matters more than outright wealth, however. Well, that discussion could take this question to another angle. Put simply, richness has many meanings and money shouldn’t be the only goal in life. You can be rich in love, adventure, experience, intelligence, power, respect, fitness, freedom, family, accomplishments, and countless other things that money has diminishing returns on providing, or cannot buy at all. One of these words probably means a lot to you, more than all the others, and failure to achieve such a goal, to live a life based around that word, would bring disappointment.
In the context of our discussion, I have an interesting post to share: The Homeless Millionaire: How Making Money Is Only Half the Battle.
In conclusion, almost everyone wants to be rich, and I am sure no one would ever want to be poor. But in the pursuit of money, one should not forget why they wanted money in the first place. Security, to pursue a passion, to start a business that changes the world, whatever it is, do not forget that and start chasing higher and higher numbers instead. It won’t make you happier.
I would appreciate your reply to this. Comments/feedback from my readers make my day.