This I Believe

Devin - henderson, Nevada
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

How Expensive is Happiness?

I believe that money’s not as important as happiness. Life is short and we’re all going to be dead a long time.

When I was younger, just like every other kid in the world, I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or have some other high paying respectable career. It wasn’t that I really cared about saving lives or anything, all I knew was that everybody said how much these guys got paid. That’s all I cared about through elementary school. I never had more than a hundred dollars until probably the fourth or fifth grade but I felt infatuated with wanting to be loaded.

I knew that with money, enough money, anything could be in my reach. In elementary school, to me, money meant power and the ability to date supermodels. Essentially, money brought happiness.

Now that I’m a little older and because as a teenager I know everything, I’ve learned that there are many ways besides money or how much you make in a given time that governs how wealthy a person is. Doctors, who can make a ton of money a year, have to sacrifice almost all of their 20’s to medical school and residency, and then they end up working ridiculous hours of the day. Lawyers practically have to learn Latin just to interpret the law.

While these people have the potential to become multimillionaires, they also have to give up huge parts of their lives to their careers. Teachers, on the other hand, probably don’t make enough money for how much they’re worth, and even though they are equally or more important to society in general, their wealth comes from the satisfaction of what they do. They’re the ones training the doctors, lawyers, and future billionaires throughout their lives.

I don’t want to be a teacher and I don’t think that I would even really be a good one at this point of my life, but teachers are the classic example that not everyone wants to have everything in the universe.

Over the last few years I have had an epiphany that while I have the potential to become rich, I lack the desire to be stuck doing something I don’t like or feel good doing.

I think that’s what college is really for. Not only getting a degree and persuading someone you’re good enough to work for them, but also to figure out what you like to do and figure out how to apply it to a career.

Everybody likes money and I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t accept the grand prize of a lottery or a check for a million dollars if it was just given to them, but in reality that doesn’t happen to everyone so most of us need to work. What I’m saying is that if you can live off of what you like doing, then more power to you because money is not as important as doing the things you like if you can.

This I believe.