Money and Happiness
We can only develop personal empathy for others when we personally identify with their pain. Whether from a sincere heart or not, one of Bill Clinton’s most appreciated comments was, “I feel your pain.” That short sentence resonated with millions of Americans. People hold their money back from others because they’ve forgotten what it felt like to be without.
Generous giving is more about who you are than how much you have. It’s a skill that bespeaks the nature of your inner compassion.
Don’t misunderstand me here—there is nothing inherently wrong with wealth. We have been blessed far more than we deserve, and I am thankful. But wealth can become a most seductive mistress. It has a way of making a person feel better than others, more worthy. But wealth is rarely sufficient. How many rich people do you know who are never satisfied? There is always a striving for that next million when they promise themselves they’ll finally be satisfied.
Various research and studies have shown the same thing: many rich people aren’t very happy people. I’m convinced that wealthy people are frequently unhappy because they’re selfish and self-absorbed…convinced that happiness will come with the next acquisition. This is the way we anesthetize our pain. We become convinced that one more car, a new suit, or a better vacation will make us happy. So, we indulge in the luxury, and sure enough—we are happy … For a little while. Then we revert back. And the cycle begins again.
Think about it. If more stuff and more money really equal happiness…then why aren’t the happiest families in America all living in Hollywood?