Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Money Can’t Buy Happiness January 12, 2013

Its just moneyThey say money doesn’t grow on trees. Seems pretty obvious to me.

If there is one thing I’ve heard a lot of people argue about its this money thing. There never seems to be enough of it. Then there’s this whole fiscal cliff thing that was going to happen, then didn’t happen, but people aren’t sure whether it still might happen or how it will affect them whether or not it happens. It all sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. My perception on the matter is that regardless of what happens, it ultimately will not affect the underlying problem that money does not buy happiness.

I think a very insightful lesson can be learned from a dog’s perspective on money. As one who has always been at the complete mercy of people with or without money to spend on me, I know I can’t fullyWhat would I spend this on? understand what this whole money debacle is all about. I’ve gone from scavenging for food on the streets, to eating the donated food at the shelter, to eating some pretty darned yummy stuff in my forever home. I know food isn’t free. I get lots of neat toys and chews and even bones that clean my teeth. Today my parents came home from the store with these surprisingly yummy things they kept calling joint vitamins shaped like little bones. I ate mine up as soon as I could. I know toys, chews and vitamins aren’t free. Everything costs something.

While nice to have, none of these things define happiness for me. The things are just things. Sure, the resulting smiles of mom and dad when we play with Mrs. Prickles or Flea are pretty great. Yes, its nice to have people like me just a little bit more because I don’t have the typical “dog breath” (which I’ve heard can be quite stinky). And (of course) its nice not to have to scavenge the streets for yummy food. But the thing is we could be playing with a blanket or a piece of cardboard and have just as good a time. I’d still get along well with people if I had stinky breath. And I could (probably) survive on most normal doggie diets sans joint vitamins.

Simple Abundance got me to thinking about this today, which is ironic since I noticed mom was counting some money on the bed (which I instantly¬†viewed as a comfy new place to lay down), and I could tell by the look on her face that this money is¬†pretty special. It is what she calls “adventure” money, hidden away in dad’s watch box. From what I can tell, this adventure money is used by mom and dad to go to exciting places with (or without) me like camping or this spa place mom likes called Sundara. But its still not this adventure money that buys happiness. Its the moments. Its the memories from the moments. Moments and memories that create “happy places” for mom and dad to reflect on when things seem otherwise gloomy.

It seems ironic to me that money – this thing that is supposed to provide all these amazing things in life – can be rightfully referred to by Breathnach as a “dark, menacing shadow” for people.

Man, have I got it good. Perhaps a dog’s way is one of the best ways to look at money…as a special (above the ordinary) gift…even if it doesn’t grow on trees. While I’ve never quite made sense of the money on trees concept, there is one frame of mind I firmly believe can be derived from life. Money can’t buy happiness. Simple as that.Doesn't Buy Happiness