Thursday, June 25, 2015

Happiness and money

Over the past decade or so, I have seen this recurring theme.

One vivid memory stands out, this one of a family of 4. The father, mother and two kids. I believe one of the kids was maybe 4 or 5 and the other one, 3 or 2 years old. I saw them by the side of the road looking so very happy. Aside from the fact that they were practically glowing with happiness, the scene also stood in stark contrast to my own situation that time. I remember being in a very unhappy state of mind.

Seems like a common scene right?

Well here's the rest of the story.

That family was moving by the side of the road with mom and dad pushing a wooden cart with all their worldly belongings and the kids were inside the cart. On the other hand, I was sitting in my air conditioned car on my way to lunch at some restaurant in a nearby mall.

Two questions stood out.

How can they be so happy in the midst of what appeared to be a dire situation for me?

And why was I so unhappy when at that time, at least relative to what they had, I had so much?

Over the next several years I would see such a scene in varying degrees. One other situation was seeing people in Chinatown, living off the street with happiness written all over their face.

No, they were not high either. They certainly did not look like the rugby sniffing type.

Just regular folks, financially challenged, homeless, and ..... happy!

Could it be that money makes happiness elusive?

Does simplicity or even poverty act as a magnet for happiness?

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