Author Topic: Are rich people happy?  (Read 4274 times)

thelastrich

  • Guest
Are rich people happy?
« on: January 27, 2011, 02:09:01 PM »
First of all, I want to tell that mi nick comes only from my name  ;D
Well, some time ago I found this post in a blog of science, in some way It changed my way of seeing things, and sometimes this helps me to remember how important has meditation become for me in a very short time.

If anyone wants to read the original, I will tell you, It's in Spanish  ;D
I will try now to translate the best I can for the people interested.
(here the original)

Are rich people happy?

I would like to read a book where all the life of people that some day became rich in a unexpected way are investigated (lottery, heritage, or any other luck-strike). Dive in their most intimate biography so we can clarify that "rich people cries too".

Until someone are encouraged to write a book like this, we can use some data to know if rich people are really happy. Or, at least, more happy than no-rich people.

Various investigations have suggested that money doesn't give the happiness (is there something that gives THE happiness?) [note: in spanish we use "THE hapinness" to refer to the ultimate/unconditional happiness, or any other subject], but highs of euphoria that last short time: in long term, those who have earned much money, finish coming back to the level of happiness that they had at the begining (until a certain point, general happiness comes imposed by DNA).

So then, doesn't matter if we don't have money? It does matter to some certain point. If the lack of money doesn't allow us to reach the minimum levels of surviving (food, home, etc.), then the lack of money makes us unhappy. But once we have enough money to survive and cover the basic needs, having more money doesn't increase our happiness level: someone earning 3.000€ each month is as happy, at first, as someone that earns 30.000€ each month.

In psychology, we understand "adaptation" for the process of habituate to something in some way that it just becomes familiar. Our circumstances are important, but usually, thanks to the psychological adaptation, they are less than expected.

I have read everything, for example, about that wining the lottery is faced at the same direction: doesn't really change the life of people.

Not only I would have to drive away the "friends" lost time ago that just now they come from nowhere, but also I would have that face off to the unavoidable fact of adaptation: the beginning "rapture" wouldn't last because the brain wouldn't allow it.

For example, one recent study have suggested that people which earns more than 90.000$ each year aren't more happy that people between 50.000 and 89.999$. A recent article in The New York Times described a support group for multimillionaire.

Another study informed that even though the average family income in Japan have increased in a factor of five between 1958 and 1987, the level of happiness manifested by the population has not changed at all; despite all that income increased, there was no more happiness. (...) Usually new material goods gives a huge initial pleasure, but we get used to it soon; at first, it can be a extraordinary sensation to drive that new Audi, but at the end, as occurs with any other vehicle, it will be only a transportation.

This has much sense in the point of view of evolution: if our ancestors had reached an absolute happiness or nirvana with any of their achievements (a comfortable cave, enough cereal plantation, one warm home, etc.), the humanity simply would be barred in that point, because, if we are good, why would be searching new horizons?

To all this, we have also to add other factor: the more things we can get (normally because the rest of the people have it), the more strong is our anxiety (and therefore unhappiness) to get them. In other words, doesn't matter the absolute richness, but relative richness.

Most people would prefer to earn 70.000$ in a job where the average earn of their work-mates were of 60.000$, than to earn 80.000$ in a job where the average earn of their work-mates were of 90.000$. As the total richness of a community increases, individual expectations increases as well.

Daiho

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 02:17:25 PM »

thelastrich

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 03:09:59 PM »
That is interesting too  :)
I think this thing of "adaptation" applies for much more than only the money.
Even for love, sometimes people "forget" how much value have the people that surrounds them, maybe for this adaptation.

chintan

  • Maun
  • Member
    • Vipassana - Goenka
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 04:43:32 PM »
About 3 years ago I worked on a project with a Government of India co-operative. The project was to see how to increase the productivity of handicrafts which tribal artisans produced. I visited their villages in Central India and realized that one of the biggest reason for lack of productivity was that the tribals were not "serious" about their "work" - they would take 10 days off for any wedding in the village, 2 weeks for a random festival. They were poor but extremely satisfied - I would not call them happy cause the interactions with the civilization was creating its own problems like alcohol and tobacco to which they were getting addicted. But on an average the level of satisfaction and joy I saw in their lives was much more than in my own life and those around me in urban Delhi..

Side Note - Net result was that the people from the co-operatinve purchasing department had a tough time meeting their purchasing targets and I could not come up with concrete productivity improvement recommendations..
-
With Metta

atalero

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 06:02:17 PM »
I think a funny question would be, are the middle class happy?  No one raises their hand, because everyone thinks they belong to it. 

ivana

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 06:48:48 PM »
Who is a rich person?

rideforever

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 07:18:45 PM »
This question is not good.  It is how much money so that you can hide in your house and not do anything again ?  How much so that I can fall asleep forever basically !!!!


How about :

How much can I give to the world ?  How much passion, joy, effort, love, sincerity can I create and put into the world.

This question actually gets my juices running, this is a question worth answering with action !




ivana

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 08:04:20 PM »

How about :

How much can I give to the world ?  How much passion, joy, effort, love, sincerity can I create and put into the world.

This question actually gets my juices running, this is a question worth answering with action !


Dear Rideforever
You received a star, Please TIB do something in forum that we will give stars for a best contribution.
Take care
Ivana

Namaste

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 01:36:56 PM »
How much can I give to the world ?  How much passion, joy, effort, love, sincerity can I create and put into the world.

This question actually gets my juices running, this is a question worth answering with action !


So, what was your answer?   :D

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 06:25:51 PM »
..... Please TIB do something in forum that we will give stars for a best contribution.
Take care
Ivana

I turned that system off the day we set up the forum - perceiving it to be too much of a potential ego-feeder.

On the original question:

Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigme Y. Thinley on Educating for Gross National Happiness

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, Jigmi Y. Thinley at World Leaders Forum

Gross National Happiness - Bhutan

« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 06:28:23 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

thelastrich

  • Guest
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2011, 03:20:52 PM »
Nice pigs marijuana-eaters  ;D
Looks like a great place, but I don't know If I could live there right now, so much different...

dragoneye

  • Member
  • on the wings of compassion and wisdom
    • Observant
Re: Are rich people happy?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 02:41:53 AM »
When I was on a vision quest in the 70s in India; I wrote in my journal that I wanted to come home and work for my family in my grandfather's business. I had determined that no matter if you were very poor, or very rich, you could not be more or less sad, and you could not be more or less happy; there was no connection.
I felt that having financial security would give you more freedom though.
I think I was correct.
True happiness is peace.
With warm regards,
DE
Dragoneye

 

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