Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness,” and that’s the truth. Money can buy a lot of things, such as peace of mind, a house, nice cars, vacations and all the material things you could ever want. What it can’t buy is love and happiness. Sure, money has a way of eliminating some of the things in life that you have to be unhappy with, but it doesn’t make you happy. It just means you don’t have to worry about money.
According to a report compiled by the United Nations General Assembly as well as the Earth Institute of Columbia University called the 2013 World Happiness Report, money doesn’t mean happiness. In fact, the report shows that while the US has the world’s largest economy, it’s only the 17th happiest nation, and it lags far behind some nations that have a lot less money. Additionally, the report shows that some of the wealthiest nations in the world (Qatar and Singapore, for example) are not high on the list of happy nations.
Of the 10 happiest nations in the world, only Norway and Switzerland are also ranked in the top 10 wealthiest (numbers 6 and 9, respectively in terms of wealth and 2 and 3 in terms of happiness). The United States is 17th in terms of happiness on a list of 156 countries.
Researchers who put the study together suggest that while financial means do make people happy in a different way, it’s not quality happiness. They suggest that people find truer, more meaningful happiness when they are giving rather than receiving. For example, those who donate to charity, do kind things for friends and family and live a life of goodness are far happier than those who have bigger incomes and all the material things they ever wanted. Essentially, you simply cannot buy happiness. It’s something that cannot be purchased, it can only be experienced in a happy home.
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