Achieving happiness has always been the ultimate aim of everyone. People try to find their vocations to enjoy a satisfying and rewarding professional life; they try and find their soul mates to enjoy marital bliss. In short, all human activities are directed towards achieving that elusive state: happiness. What most people would like to believe is that this effort is in no way connected to wealth or money and that it is a purely spiritual experience. Yet nothing can be further from the truth: the host in the famous film Cabaret had it right when he said “Money makes the world go round”. The truth is that happiness is impossible without money.
There are those rare individuals like Buddhist monks who experience bliss on a purely intellectual level but they are a minority. Most people would be miserable with one outfit and a begging bowl. For modern man, not knowing where the next meal is coming from would create enough stress to destroy any glimmer of happiness. Young lovers who feel that nothing else matters and that they can be happy in a hovel soon change their minds come day two when there is nothing to eat, they can’t charge their mobiles and there is no internet connection. We are living in a consumer society where acquisitiveness is drummed into us and has become a part of our DNA. No modern child of capitalism will ever be convinced that it is possible to be happy without all that money can buy.
It is all very well to claim that happiness is a spiritual state and has nothing to do with money but financial difficulties are the biggest reasons for divorce. The sympathy and compassion accompanying redundancy will quickly grow sour as weeks pass and bills keep piling up. The empathy will melt away and the depressed partner will be blamed for the family’s predicament. The social roles dictated by society are too ingrained to be overlooked and those who can’t shape up are expected to ship out; hence, divorce. An accustomed lifestyle is very hard to shake off and will always supersede plain old love.
In short, money has become the end all and be all of life however much we may like to pretend it hasn’t. Success, joy and happiness have become linked to commodities and opportunities provided by greater wealth. It is true that money didn’t use to be able to buy happiness but modern capitalism has turned this view on its head. Today, for better or for worse, money and happiness are closely entwined.