Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Can Money Buy Happiness?
Short answer? No.
Long answer? No.
You know what "buys" happiness? Being true to yourself. Being kind, generous, loving and helpful to others but not letting others take advantage of you.
I just finished reading two biographies of Liberace. Liberace, who had more money than God. Was he happy? Maybe he thought he was. Reading his biographies, I don't think so.
Last month I finished reading a biography of Frank Sinatra. Other than discovering what a low life, hoodlum, bully and thug Old Blue Eyes was, again a man with all that talent and money yet he wasn't happy. Maybe he thought he was but man, he was major f--cked up, just like Liberace.
I was born poor and grew up poor. As many of you who are reading this post were also born poor and grew up poor. I've never really made the big money in my lifetime. Every time I got near the $40,000 annual salary in my working career, something happened to drag me right back to the mid Twenties. I now work as a hotel front desk clerk part-time, making less than $12.00 a hour. Thus the Big Money will always be beyond my reach, especially now in the twilight of my life.
I marvel at almost all of my peers who have topped the six figures in salary. I think the lowest any of them made was $80,000 plus a year. I attribute my salary retardation to the fact that I was always out as a gay man at work thus I never achieved the lofty title of Assistant Vice President. Oh sure, I had the responsibility and the work because I was good. In fact I was damn good but once you come out as a gay man at work, that's the Mark of Cain on your forehead.
You're just not going to get anywhere and I didn't, money wise. But you know what folks? I've always been frugal and managed to save some money from my modest salaries. Plus, I also had a goal from the time I was 12 years old to own my own home, which I have achieved three times over. Thus through hard work, discipline and a little luck I now have a comfortable, if not luxurious home. I have no bills and my health is relatively good after an awful year last year.
I have arrived at this point in my life not by accident but by setting goals for myself and working to achieve them. I can honestly say I have everything I need in life now. Would I like more money? Sure, who wouldn't but what would I do with it other than to have a more secure nest egg that I could leave to my twenty-two nieces and nephews? Or perhaps leave it to some nursing home to suck up in a year or two at $7,000 a month like what is happening to my friend Bob Mc. now?
I'll tell you what "buys" happiness. Being a good person who attracts other good people. Treat others as you would want to be treated. And always be on the guard for those who seek to take advantage of you and wish you ill. Unfortunately that is the world we live in today. There are good people and then there are those who are not. You know who they are.
Cherish those who wish you well, and put distance between those who do not. You don't need money to be happy, only good friends and maybe someone who love you for who you are and not who they want you to be.
Good friends who like and respect you, that's all you need to be happy. All the rest; extra money, extra lovers - that's all gravy folks.