Here's your change

6 Min Read
1180 words

As my daughter has been home ill this week and she is the best sick kid in the world, I bought her a surprise. Since I am a pretty annoying parent, I generally buy her things that are educational in some way, whether it be development of dexterity and hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, or like these letter tiles, skills that will help develop other skills.

While I am an annoying parent, the annoyance isn't from my daughter, it is from other parents who think that "kids should play" and they have defined play as something where learning is apparently minimized. For me, it is where learning is maximized so that there are more opportunities for future playing also. not only this, 'I like the compounding of skill development, so that clusters of skills can be used together.

A surprising amount of people believe that, "money doesn't buy happiness" without considering that money is just a tool and it is how it is used that matters. It is much like reading is a valuable skill because it opens us up to information we might not be able to access otherwise, but it is what we read that matters and then, how we use the information obtained to affect our lives.

The tools we have at our disposal give us access to what we are able to build and in the past, I didn't put much emphasis on putting money into my toolbox, even though I wanted to use the tool. While I am not the smartest, I am also not a complete fool, but based on various aspects of my past, I took the approach that as long as I am happy it doesn't matter.

The challenge of course is, "happiness" is not a state that can be held for long and it is going to be influenced by conditions. It is hard to be happy when very ill. It is hard to be happy when very hungry. It is hard to be happy when there is very little opportunity. Many people are impacted by such conditions, but the general approach to them is to seek to avoid the negative, which feels a bit like the pursuit of happiness. But, it is mostly avoidance through activity that makes one forget the poor conditions for a short time. However, the irony is that the more one avoids, the more the negative conditions have space to grow in the background.

I am a procrastinator by genetics I think, and it has led me into many bad situations, where I have avoided handling uncomfortable conditions, only to have the conditions worsen to the point they can't be ignored. It is like suspecting cancer but instead of seeking confirmation or treatment, it is just left to fester to the point that normal life is affected.

I find that a lot of people do this with their financial health too. They know they should pay attention and make adjustments, but the pull of happiness is too strong, even if it is happy for a moment - like wanting to be loved, so paying a prostitute to say she loves you. the investment into becoming the kind of person and building the necessary relationships is too much work, too much investment.

Perhaps it is Veruca Salt syndrome where,

"I want an Oompa Loompa now, Daddy!"

We are impatient and demand happiness now, rather than work to own our own chocolate factory and our own little orange slaves. We want "Daddy" to buy our happiness for us.

Currently, a lot of governments are giving handouts to people and in many places, they are significant enough that low paying jobs are remaining vacant. Rather than work for a little money, people would rather have their time bought cheaply by the government, thinking that they are getting a good deal, when in actual fact they are becoming increasingly reliant on governmental conditions. Most do not see that while they are avoiding some kind of menial task, the cost is their freedom. Rather than build conditions as owners with an owned revenue stream, their happiness will depend on the government handouts and when it is not enough, they will kick and scream and appeal to their leadership to grant them more money, as they can no longer afford the basics for daily happiness.

Free money is never free - there is always a cost, always a catch, always a condition and even though it might not be apparent at first, the cancer grows until it consumes everything. At this point, there may no longer be the resources for change, no longer the ability to pick up the skills and obtain the tools necessary to build happiness.

I get the sense that a lot of people who say "money can't buy happiness", are also those who don't have any money and aren't actually happy themselves. However, they also know that they are not willing to invest themselves enough in order to test their theory, Instead, they provide platitudes and in their next breath, complain about conditions, blaming other people for their state of affairs. They never seem to factor their own role into the equation.

The conflict I always find interesting in many of the complainants is, if they are not willing to invest in themselves, why would anyone else provide for them? This is something that they should ask themselves when someone offers them money for free, because money is a tool used for trade, so what is being traded?

The thing is, when people say something like, "the cancer is out of control now", what they mean is, it is out of their control. From the perspective of the cancer, it is fully in control. At some point, it is too late to treat and the system it controls, is consumed. The handouts might feel like they solve short-term problems, but the cancer is growing.

Happiness can't be bought, it is a state of mind and perhaps it is possible to hold the state indefinitely, but I suspect that conditions matter. What I have discovered in myself that working toward improving conditions brings a far higher quality of life to me than the momentary flashes of "happiness" I get while I avoid negative feelings. I think the people who would consider they had a good life, are not those who had the most moments of happiness, but those who feel that that the way they invested themselves had the most positive change on the conditions of their lives and since we are socially inclined, probably the lives of others too.

This can be seen in various ways, but in the current world we have had, have and will likely have for a long time to come - our ability to affect the world relies heavily on our ability to move money and if we have no money ourselves, we better be very skilled at convincing others on how they should use theirs.

How invested are you?

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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