Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Too much comfort?

Mrs. Avacado and I ate with my parents tonight at Logan's. I'm stuft. Miserably stuft. My parents have told me for years that life was so much better when they didn't have any money and you really were entertained with the fridge box somebody got you for Christmas. People are far more prosperous these days, but are they any happier? And if not, what's the point of all our prosperity? I'm not saying that I'm willing to give up all the blessings of middle class American life, but I just wonder about it. Would I be happier if I had to scrape by?


Craig Pankratz said...

It all depends on attitude, gratitude being key. When there is little, we can be grateful for what we happen. When there is abundance, we can, too. But in the times of abundance, the key to happiness is blessing the lives of others. Of course we need to take care of our families and plan for the future. But when from our abundance we are just as generous to others as we are to ourselves, or moreso, then happiness comes.

But all the generosity in the world won't make us happy unless we are happy givers. Which brings us back to attitude.

Yee said...

I can answer truthfully with an emphatic 'NO'. It sucks being poor.

I'm not saying money can buy happiness, but it definitely can buy security. And it buys you a certain amount of freedom. I think some people take that freedom too far though.

Also, prosperity these days seems to mean a large line of credit. Like that commercial - "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs!" Who would be happy about that? Even if they were prosperous on the front? True prosperity to me means school loans are paid off, money in the bank, good headway in preparations for retirement, secured healthcare and a mortgage that I don't have to worry about paying off.

Mikearoni said...

an attitude of gratitude is very important, and without it you won't be happy no matter how much you have. But when you're barely scraping by to put food on the table and a roof over your head, there is so much stress on a survival level that it is hard, I think, to achieve the kind of attitude that will lead to (or bring) happiness. So, to be the ultimate waffler, Yee and Pankratz are both right.

p.s. the Rangers do need another catcher.

Wilson said...

Having to scrape by is no fun. In other words, I agree with Yee, (and I guess with the Maslow hierarchy). But perhaps there's something to be said about balance and simplicity. As long as one's basic needs are met, a life with less is simpler, and in that sense, maybe "happier." If I have no investments, I don't have to fret as much about what's happening with this market or that market. As I advance in my job, I am paid more, so I can have more stuff, if I so choose, but I also have more responsibility, and thus am likely to have more stress.

I think there's much to be said aboutliving the simple life (the real simple life--not the Paris/Nicole simple life). If one lives life in a race to get more stuff for one's own personal ego, as opposed to having enough, then the important things, like nurturing one's spiritual and famial relationships, doing good works, etc., are likely to suffer. On the other hand, I think having "enough" and staying focused on the meaningful things will bring happiness without regard to financial resources.

Anonymous said...

Being destitute is no fun, however, as others have said, many of our "needs" were formerly "wants"- i.e. cable tv, a tv (by itself), new cars every 4 years, etc. There is a happy balence somewhere in there- someday, when I am done with law school, I hope to find it!

- Chicago