It is obvious to anyone who has seen a bit of the world and known people from all strata of society that money is no guarantee of happiness. It may even be true that the more money the more problems and in many cases the more unhappiness. In fact, this sentiment was expressed clearly in the Ethics of the Fathers 2,000 years ago: “…the more possessions – the more worry…”
Why is this so? It seems that the more we have, the easier it is to fall into the trap of becoming dependent upon our possessions to provide us with happiness. This is especially true in our age where the constant bombardment of the media and advertising is geared to make us think we must have it all and we must have it now! If not, we are missing something and are somehow deprived.
Happiness is an attitude towards life and comes from a deep inner feeling of self worth and purpose. All the money in the world can not create these feelings of self esteem. Another gem of wisdom in the ethics of the Fathers states: “Who is rich? One of is happy with his lot.”
This is not to say that one needs to be poor to be happy either. Money is neutral. Like many other things money can be used for good and positive purposes or the opposite. To be happy with our lot also does not mean we should not strive for a more comfortable life style and accept poverty with no hope of betterment. It does mean though that we should strive to be happy and grateful with what we have, no matter what the circumstances. To do so indicates a great trust in God and leads to inner peace and contentment.