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Perspective – What Does Buy You Happiness?

December, 2020

“Money can’t buy you happiness!” How many times have you heard that! Everyone can remember times in life when this statement proved to be true. But maybe there is a different perspective to consider. Maybe this statement does not always hold true. Maybe not everyone has experienced the difference.

This is a perfect time of year to think about happiness. We search for happiness in varied places that often do not yield any. We all remember as children and in later years with our own families how long the happiness lasted when that sought after gift one could not live without had lost its appeal or was broken after only a few days or weeks. Then happiness had to be searched for again. There were times as a child when those hand-knitted mittens, socks or scarves did not seem to bring the same happiness when the gift was opened. Yet on that very cold day when those items provided real warmth, the love expressed in that gift brought a more lasting happiness. Then, of course, is the gift of tools!! Only some will actually understand that tools bring a whole different level of happiness. You see, tools can help
save time. They help to fix things at home or for family and friends. Tools will improve the quality of your work. There is no happiness like the happiness that comes from having good quality tools! Seriously! Maybe I digress a little.

Christmas is a time to remember the birth of the One who changed the world we live in. History shows that the world before He came was affected by the anticipation and afterwards by the reality of His birth. One of the things that Jesus said is “more blessing comes from giving than from receiving.”, and He would know! Another time He was asked which was the greatest commandment. He responded that the first was to love God and the second was to love your neighbour as yourself. In fact, He said, that the law is based on these two commandments. Isn’t that interesting and profound!

What if money can buy us happiness if we spend it in a different way? Researchers have found that pro-social spending was linked to improved levels of happiness. They also found that the amount of money spent on the needs of others was not a significant factor. Happiness comes from the act of spending to help the needs of others rather than needs of one’s self. The fact is that when you consider the needs of others your focus is directed away from yourself or your personal situation. Further, research has been conducted across the globe in both poor and wealthy countries. In almost every country there is a positive correlation between giving and general happiness. We have all read stories of those who
worked hard all their lives for a success that actually did not give them the happiness they had dreamed of. It is not the success that is the problem. It is the focus on self only rather than allowing room to give to the needs of others. In addition, scientific research has concluded that giving does more than make us happier, it makes us healthier.

There is a part of us that already understands the concept. Most remember the feelings of being on the receiving end of another’s generosity during life’s difficulties. Yet many have had an opportunity to significantly and maybe anonymously give a practical gift to someone who is in real need. The blessings of happiness and fulfillment from giving are unmatched and are seldom forgotten. The motivation to repeat is strong…not just at Christmas time, but all year long! Would you agree? Money can buy happiness!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!