Day 26: Money can’t buy happiness.

Actually, money can’t buy a lot of things. But, as I sat in the salon listening to the woman next to me complain about her husband, her children, her home, her life and her motivation, I couldn’t help but think that she was the perfect example of that statement.

Wearing a diamond ring larger than any I’ve seen before, fumbling through her $5,000 purse to find her car keys to shut the car alarm of her $150,000 Mercedes, she continued on about how her husband doesn’t listen to her. About how he doesn’t care. About how when she gets upset with him his response is to buy her something new. Be it diamonds or electronics or vehicles, he’s bought it all for her and he still hasn’t learned that what she wants most is for him to listen.

As she continued on talking about how her children were spoiled brats who didn’t understand the values of anything in life, I couldn’t help but wonder if she played a hand in making them that way. I don’t think it was intentional, but I do think that when they’re not looking, parents play a larger role in passing on bad behaviours to their kids then they believe.

Here’s the thing: the woman was clearly very depressed with her life. Something that seemed quite ‘beautiful’ from the outside, at a personal level was tearing her up. She was not happy. And maybe too afraid to do anything about it. (That last part is absolutely speculation) And, as I watched what seemed like a perfect exterior fall apart in a salon chair, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that material possessions are nothing more than that. Possessions can’t give peace of mind. Possessions can’t make you happy. Sure, they can make things easier, if you use them properly. But they won’t buy your happiness.

I’ve never been someone to be wowed by fancy things. With a whole world out there to explore, I have no desire for diamonds, I desire experience. I want to walk with penguins in Antarctica and go cave diving in Madagascar. I want to see the whole world. And yes, money is needed to travel. There is a bit of a catch-twenty-two there. But watching her, clearly deeply unhappy with her life and how it’s turned out, I was reminded that experiences are far more important than things.

She, for me, will serve as a reminder that things are not necessary. Money can’t buy happiness. Money cannot buy peace of mind. Actually, money cannot buy a lot of things. Money can’t buy:

  • Respect
  • Truth
  • Work-life balance
  • Natural Beauty
  • Manner
  • Common Sense
  • A clear conscience
  • Purpose in life
  • Integrity
  • Good Friends
  • A long life
  • Close-knit family
  • An open mind
  • A worry-free day
  • Trust
  • A new beginning
  • A great idea
  • An honest politician
  • Peace of mind
  • A good hair day
  • Patience
  • Luck
  • Happy Memories
  • Time to relax
  • A strong work ethic
  • A positive attitude
  • A happy home
  • Good Karma
  • Blessings
  • Appreciation and love of the simple things
  • True Love
  • A new shot at a missed opportunity
  • Peace in the World
  • A golden anniversary
  • Talent
  • A second chance
  • Quality time with the ones you love
  • Wisdom
  • Happiness
  • Intelligence
  • Humility
  • A good reputation
  • A 25 hour day
  • Youth
  • Experience
  • Class
  • Justice
  • Perspective
  • Selflessness