Barking up the wrong tree

” You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy coffee” the sign read in my office’s canteen. I had a hearty laugh and moments later, I found myself chasing thoughts. I think money can buy happiness. You read me right. I don’t think money is the only source of happiness. That said, it sure facilitates the happiness quotient. 

I don’t have altruism running through my veins. I won’t even dare dispute that. Fortunately or unfortunately, meeting wonderful blokes like Sarba did leave a lasting impression. I didn’t go beyond my way to pretend an altruistic heart. When I could, I spared a bar of candy. When I could, I’d offer to buy food. When I could, I did. When I couldn’t, I didn’t mull around it. The stint came in phases and I’m glad it’s here to stay. There is a certain joy to helping those who are in need. There is a huge relief in suspending scepticism and believing that those who are in need are in need indeed. 

My tryst with altruism, which is insignificant at best, is actually a good example of ‘Yes, money can buy you happiness”. Substituting materialistic gratification instead of emotional ones is probably not the most healthiest ways to fill that gaping hole in our hearts. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that when you have to buy things to feel happy, it’s no different from reaching out in addiction to satisfy that itching need to feel high. Unless one keeps fuelling that constant drive to buy, one ends up feeling unhappy. This is a good case of sustainability of the operating model in order to reach that said happiness.

While that is one side of the story, the fact that all of us make enough, make ample to spare a little to the society, is blatant proof that money can buy happiness. I think we mix content and satisfaction to happiness. Happiness is far too easier to acquire. That sense of feeling satisfied and content, now that takes a considerable effort. 
Money , that desire to make money , is not evil. There is nothing out there in the world which will convince me that the desire to make a buck is sinful in nature. I do worry about the ethics and legalities of making that buck. This is a forced filter of sorts. It’s forced because I care enough to enforce that into my moral principles. Money, by itself , does not translate to a guilty pleasure. 

All the altruism in the world, if you can suspend the politics and the agenda behind it, it serves the needy by fulfilling their essential needs. The needs could either be materials or it could be empathy. Yes, we do live in a world where we are but robbed of emotional satisfaction and staying emotionally satisfied has spawned a business of providing that gratification to the masses. Sounds complicated and perplexing? Not quite. Social media is aimed to keep the narcissist in us pampered. 

That probably is a different tangent to explore. In line with what we are talking about, money can buy us happiness. In fact, both nothing and everything can help us reach that state of happiness. ALL IT USUSALLY TAKES IS AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT HAPPINESS MEANS TO US. The funny irony is that a lot of us can’t quantify and state with certainty on things that have to happen in order for us to stay happy. Happiness is a state function, it changes from time to time, it differs as our thoughts differ. It’s not a fixed destination. It’s a by product that makes an appearance each time we set out to brave the big world around us. 

Think about it. If one’s intent is firm around helping others, no matter how heavy that inflow of currency is, it would be used to serve people in the way one does best. If one’s intent is to substitute trinket for satisfaction, that loaded cupboard would still fall short of meeting all our expectations. 
Buy it, sell it, steal it, beg for it, as long as you find it and know to keep it sustained, happiness ain’t the holy grail of all treasures. It happens to be the most ignored , commonly occurring abundant state of the mind. If money can’t buy you happiness, you are probably shopping in all the wrong places! 

Karthik 

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