Does Wealth Bring Happiness?
The question of whether wealth brings happiness is difficult to answer.
Happiness here implies inner contentment, contentment of the mind. It is a state of being to which neither wealth nor poverty alone can contribute.
The richest people, however, are not the happiest people. There is an optimum point beyond which the pleasures of wealth give a decreasing return. But if the surplus wealth is used for the betterment of society and humanity at large, it yields double benefit. One, the condition of a lot of people improves, and secondly, the donor gets a kind of other-regarding satisfaction and joy.
Our desires are unlimited whereas our means are limited. We live today in a materialistic age. There is a wild competition to increase wealth and our lives are becoming commercialized day by day. The modern permissive societies, attractive advertisements, and the increasing trend towards the pleasures of material living have both merits and demerits. While they have made life smoother, brought the world closer, and improved a general lot of humanity, they have, on the other hand, deprived mankind of the benefits of spiritual thinking. The balance is disturbed and we have little time to pause over the moral effects of our action.
Philanthropic use of wealth makes a person happy and content. The wealthy should never be selfish because the material pleasures of wealth very easily reach a point of saturation. By generous usage of wealth, they can equate the joys of earning wealth with the joys of mind.