Jan 12, 2009

Of money, greed and happiness

How much money does a person needs to be happy?

When even the world's 36th richest man, German billionaire, Adolf Merckle can commit suicide, then my next logical question is: Can money gives a person happiness?

However, because human beings are simply avaricious, the will to cheat is simply too overwhelming.
The greatest financial frauds of the year, Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scam and India's Satyam fraud are testimonial to this.

How did Madoff managed to con his clients of USD50 billion through the Ponzi scheme is indeed incredulous. Currently, Madoff is under intense investigation in the US and is highly to be charged. Is he a happy man with all his cheated wealth?

Satyam Computer Services is India's fourth largest tech company which had been trading with a manipulated falsehood account. The sheer greed of its founder blew all up and is currently waiting to be charged. Is the founder-chairman with all his fraudulent wealth a happy man?

In Malaysia, I have heard of many stories about wealthy people who are very rich but are truly unhappy about their lives which are mainly caused by broken families. Because of their families' wealth, the prodigal children will usually either get landed on the wrong side of the law or there is simply no love for their parents when they grew old and will wait patiently for their parents' will to be announced.
The sadness and unhappiness of the parents are further compounded when there is rivalry among the siblings over the inheritance.

And not forgetting our politicians.
There have been far too many cases of some of the politicians who will use their power to plunder the country's coffer through their ever indigenous corrupt means.They will manipulate, defalcate and swindle with anything that are pecuniary. I have no inkling whether they are happy, but what I surely know is, they will continue to be greedy.

Now the million dollar question: Do you want to be a multi- millionaire with plenty of money but without the happiness or just an ordinary contended person with plenty of happiness?


Antares said...

Money can be printed (by a criminal syndicate like the Federal Reserve) & actually worth only the paper & ink.

Wealth is whatever provides us a sense of well-being & nourishes us on all levels. When you're feeling a bit down, getting a warm smile from a beautiful girl you don't even know is exactly what your spirit requires to bounce back. So even receiving a gratuitous smile can be considered "wealth."

In short, money does NOT equal wealth.

Here's a good example of how far off course the "modern" world has strayed: many years ago in a remote village deep in the Amazon, ethnologists discovered a "lost" tribe that had never known money. Fruits grew abundantly around the village, fish were literally jumping in the clear streams & fresh meat was easily available from the lush surrounding jungle. Whatever the villagers wanted in the way of clothes & tools they were able to make themselves or barter with neighboring tribes. Children were happy & free & the elderly were respected & well cared for. Yet this community was listed as among the poorest in the world because their "per capita income" was measured as less than USD10 a year. Contact with the outside world made these simple folk aware of what they lacked - they soon wanted radios, watches, batteries, and so on. And that's when they realized how "poor" they were!

cancan said...

I do agree with you Antares, that money does not equal wealth.

The wealth of a person can be measured and felt by many factors,like those examples given by you.

Money is just money and can be 'worthless' to those who do not have a wealth of happiness.