Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
True happiness requires a meaningful life which In positive psychology is, a meaningful life is a construct having to do with the purpose, significance, fulfillment of life. Sadguru, an Indian mystic once claimed: ‘when your happiness is dependant upon what is happening outside of you, constantly, you live as a slave to the external situation.’ Many individuals in our society are dependant upon wealth as a means to a meaningful life. What is mistaken is this happiness is for only a fleeting moment, temporary. True happiness is eternal. Money creates masks, which individuals feel tied to, and shown through these masks is an illusion of happiness. There are three masks prompted by the profusion of wealth, satisfaction, selfishness and obviousness. First, money creates a mask of satisfaction. Money brings comfort which is a luxury, a privilege, and a scarcity in this world.
One then feels satisfied, thus thinking you have reached a point of happiness. According to Colin Wright, an author, ‘being comfortable means that you don’t feel too bad or too good, you are neutral. Comfort is for people who are looking to relax, not to grow and learn and experience new things.’ The mask of satisfaction that comes with wealth prevents individuals from leading a meaningful life as they are incapable to learn and to grow. Secondly, money makes a mask of selfishness prominent in your life. Once a degree of wealth has been obtained, greed begins to overcome one’s life. They believe they need more money to be happy but through studies, it has been concluded that ‘the more we have of it [money], it seems, the more money wears off. Research by Nobel laureates Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton suggests that the happiness benefits of increased income diminish around $75,000.’ The greed that comes with the profusion of money does not allow for individuals to be selfless, ending in a non-gratifying and non-happy life.
FInally, money causes a mask of obliviousness. individuals who are wealthy believe that what they only need are the materials around them. Data show from the world economic forum that ‘lower-income individuals spend more of their time socializing with other people than their more well-to-do counterparts, who spend more time alone.’ The lack of social interaction and meaningful relationships cause insufficiency of fulfillment in life which create a meaningful life. According to Doctor Margaret Paul, ‘Learning to bring this [our own] love within and share it with others creates deep inner fulfillment.’ The obliviousness of needing real, true connections, caused by wealth, prevents happiness from being realized. In conclusion, the path to true happiness entails one of a meaningful life, one with fulfillment, significance and purpose. The masks one wears when they have money prevents this from being achieved.