can you really buy your way into happiness?

anndee - seattle, Washington
Entered on June 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Have you ever bought something just to make you feel happy? I know a lot of people who have. I always hear the saying “money can’t buy you happiness”. I believe that I should make do with what I have to make me happy, whether that may be my family, my friends, my pets, or my books.

My family has lived on the poverty line my whole life. I have a big family; some people might see it as a burden, I know better. It seems, that all the money people spend on making them content couldn’t replace the happiness I get from being with my family. Sure, I wish that I could buy this or that. Sometimes I yell at my parents, saying, “Why do we have to be poor? Life would be so much easier if we had more money.” I feel that in the end, I will still have someone in my family to make me laugh at the end of a bad day; to make me forget about all the unfortunate events that happened that day. I know that money can’t buy that kind of happiness any day.

Since I have lived on the poverty line my whole life, we have not always had the chance to get the things we need. Last year I was going through a growth spurt during the summer. My feet were growing so fast! My feet were being crushed inside my old shoes, but my parents were in-between paychecks, which meant no money for new shoes. I still had some flip-flops left over from the summer, and by some miracle, they fit me. I was at school, my flip-flops were coming apart. But by the end of the day, they were un-repairable, so I took them off. My old science teacher saw me with no shoes on. Being nice to me, he took some duct-tape and fixed up my flip-flops. They lasted until I walked into my house after school. When my parents saw what happened, they finally got me some cheap shoes.

As I walked through the door with duct taped shoes, my sisters laughed at the sight. This made me laugh too. I can still remember that moment of pure enjoyment of laughing with my family, and having a good time. That was when I realized, if my parents could have afforded new shoes right when I needed them, I might not have had such a memorable time with my family, sitting in the living room, telling them my story of how my flip-flops came to be.

Some people they think they can buy happiness, but all of that is just an illusion. I believe that having a lot of money can be practical. But when you look at it, it is not something you can use to buy joy that you can get free from people who love, care, appreciate, and can who can even make you laugh when you can’t fit in your shoes any more.