“Money can buy a house, but not a home; a bed, but not rest; food, but not an appetite; medicine, but not health; information, but not wisdom; thrills, but not joy; associates, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; flattery, but not respect.”- Pat Williams
This has been studied ad infinitum: money has nothing to do with happiness. It’s just energy, and you can’t handle it without gratitude. What do I mean by that? Let’s say you get a huge inheritance, or you win the lottery. If you don’t have gratitude and a purpose in life, you’ll just be crushed by it. But if you have this mood of selfless service and gratitude, then you’ll be able to use that energy.
We’ve been bequeathed more than just money. We’ve been given a human form through which we can refine ourselves. But if I don’t develop gratitude, I’m just crushed by that asset. It seems like too much responsibility, and I squander it.
In fact, surveys by Newsweek Magazine about the happiest places on earth revealed, several years in a row, that affluence has nothing to do with it. In their index, some of the poorest countries in the world came out on top. It doesn’t mean poverty helps, either. But what did make a difference were relationships with friends and loved ones. In some of these cultures that are more agrarian-based, people had more time together in homes. All the kids in the neighborhood would be together. They would also break bread together a lot. These are some of the points that made a big difference in their happiness. When we have a conception of what will actually make us happy, and we adjust our life around that principle, then–amazingly–it works.
This excerpt is from Vaisesika’s upcoming book, Your Seven Spiritual Superpowers. Want more wisdom? Join his weekly zoom class here!0