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Money isn’t everything but it sure buys a lot of neat stuff

1966 Don't worry, be happy card

1966 Don’t worry, be happy card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have not purchased a Powerball ticket yet for tonight’s $400 million drawing. But unless it completely escapes me, I will set out some time today and do so. It is because if you think about it, we all work jobs and study things in school so we can have regular paychecks, and the chance to not work the jobs we are not particularly crazy about that we went into debt to learn how to do, is something we all will jump at in a heartbeat, in a New York minute, in an instant. What does that tell us about ourselves and our choices for education and gainful employment?

A lot of people go to college to study things they do not necessarily enjoy but will help them earn a living that is not as good as the one provided by hitting a Powerball jackpot. You might work at a job (if it does not become obsolete) for decades, with several different companies and still not have enough money to retire. Life’s a bitch and then you die. That was the old saying we used to explain how even when you think you have things covered materially-speaking, something can happen and you still end up struggling for a good deal of your life.

It is hard to not revisit the esoteric debate over whether money is everything or not. Does it ensure happiness if you have more money than needed to clothe, shelter and feed yourself and loved ones? Some would say since we are “consumers,” if we have money to consume whatever it is we want to consume, we will err on the side of happiness. But is it truly happiness if it is only short-lived?

When we buy something like a new car, computer or iPhone, are we happy? Perhaps happiness is fleeting in that it only lasts a short while—like the time from when we pay for these items, bring them home and then take them out of the box and use them.

The Lotto Powerball logo

The Lotto Powerball logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This mindset of truly good things needing to last for all of eternity finds some common thread among religious people who believe they will get all good things in whatever afterlife they believe comes when they die. There is also the inverse of this belief among people who do not believe in an afterlife and want whatever earthly rewards they can have obtained in the life they are leading now.

Dream your daydream

With respect to games of chance like lotteries, we are told “dream your dream,” and play a ticket (or two, or three, or four). There are people who play lotteries each and every week. Everybody does not get involved usually until the jackpots soar above $200 million; after all, how will we be able to live and be happy on anything less? Dreaming your dream is silly to me, though. Have you ever dreamed about Powerball or lotteries? I think not. The saying should be dream your daydream; it just makes more sense. We all daydream and so daydreaming is technically more correct than regular dreaming when it comes to Powerball. Perhaps those of us daydreaming about winning Powerball need to get a life, but that is an entirely different blog post for another day.

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A friend recently suggested that the ability to purchase most anything we want brings happiness. Again, if happiness is temporary and short-lived, then perhaps this could be a form of happiness. If being happy means not having to work a job we are not crazy about, but we went to school to learn how to do so we could have a regular paycheck, then yes, hitting Powerball could bring happiness by eliminating our need to work a job we are not happy doing, too.

There are other people who say money doesn’t buy happiness or love. It might help you surround yourself with attractive acquaintances, though, and at the end of the day for some folks, that is not an altogether bad proposition, either, right? But is that happiness?

Some people say you can never be happy, that the human species is not wired for happiness. We are miserable sons of bitches. These are what I like to call the eternal optimists of negativity. You know who I am speaking of. You see them if you have ever walked into a room where you feel the energy being sucked out with each narcissistic breath and conversation tidbit you pick up on.

Having money or not is not in and of itself contributory to being happy or not in my opinion. For me, having money is merely one less thing you have to worry about in life. So, maybe that is why rich people are always smiling. They know they don’t have to worry about money. Some of them regularly count it, too, as they are most happy when they can physically feel some of it in their hands. They can tell themselves things like, “Well, at least I have enough money I don’t have to worry about eating, paying to repair my car when it breaks down or getting rhinoplasty when I need it. Am I happy? I think so, especially if it means not having to worry about money. By virtue of not concerning myself with whatever daily outlays of cash I may make, I am unburdened by the crush of money worries that afflict the common person.”

English: Image of Peter Popoff on letters requ...

English: Image of Peter Popoff on letters requesting money in return for promises of happiness, health, and wealth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What would it be like to live a life not worrying about money after just barely getting by all of the time prior to winning a jackpot? Does one really ever know, even when we read the stories of lottery winners who have had their lives turned upside down after winning huge sums? This would seem to indicate money isn’t everything but it’s nice to have for at least a little while, or that happiness, when it arrives from money, could be short-lived. I do not ever recall seeing this on a fortune cookie, however, and so I’m off to get a Powerball ticket, well, actually, two—one with numbers I’ll pick and the other computer generated. I’m daydreaming the dream so that I might live the dream. Good luck!

 

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