This I Believe

Kristin - Lake Forest, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Believe That Money Cannot Buy Happiness

On April 11, 2007, my great grandfather passed away. He died at ninety-six and had a great life. A fairly large and loving family has survived him. On that Wednesday, I cried my eyes out and had an emotional breakdown. After my crying had come to a close, all I wanted to do was spend money, even though I did not necessarily have it in the band, let alone to spare. I went to Macy’s, walked over to the Coach purse counter and in a matter of ten minutes, five hundred and eighteen dollars was my new balance on my convenient department store plastic. The clerk asked me if I felt better, and I obliged with an insincere “yes.”

It was an instant gratification that lasted about twelve hours until the next morning when the fact that Great Gramps was gone became real again. I tried to make five hundred and eighteen dollars replace the pain, and all it did was my checkbook hurt. Buying something when you are feeling blue may make you feel better at first; however, it is covering up the real issue and pain. It may not always be a healthy decision in the end to just avoid what is really going on.

Money can buy you happiness, but how long will that happiness last? And is somebody, including myself, truly happy? Or are they just covering up their pain with material items? It may be a temporary emotional fix to a much larger and more painful problem.

When I was younger, my mother and grandmother would spend money on my brother and me whenever we were not feeling well, we were mad at them, or had a fight. Even though I accepted the new things, they did not make me happy. On the surface I was no longer mad, but the things did not take away what had been done or said to initiate the fight in the first place. Now that I am older, I have realized that buying this is not the proper way to handle situations. The funny thing is, this still takes place in my family. I have now stood up for myself and do not let them buy my happiness or forgiveness. Even though it is not the family tradition, I choose to talk about it. I believe this is a more effective course of action.

I believe that money cannot buy happiness. I have come into contact with people who cannot rub two pennies together and are twice as happy as somebody who is sleeping in a bed made of money. I believe that love and compassion, honesty and trust, provide people with happiness, rather than money and materialistic items.

This I believe.