Happiness, Dilemma and Difference

We often think that happiness is reserved only for wealthy people, who have enough money to satisfy all their wishes. The problem is that happiness implies two dimensions that are contrary one with another. The first dimension form the foundation on which is built personal happiness and it don’t require money or wealth to reach it (but it’s problematic to reach it when you make and have a lot of money), this is inner peace. The second dimension of happiness presuppose, more or less, financial resources to achieve it and it is about pleasant experiences (beginning with most diverse food and drink and ending with most exotic traveling and adventure).

The biggest dilemma of a human individual is this: if he is making a lot of money, is very hard for him to reach inner peace (which is a sine qua non component of happiness); if he don’t have a lot of money, he can’t taste too many and diverse pleasant experiences.

For the one who make a lot of money is very hard (even if not impossible) to be peaceful and restful, because making of, handling of and keeping of money require un exhaustible intellectual (his mind is always busy to think to diverse combinations and variants for making money and also his mind is hunted by the fear of losing them) and physical (a terrible running against time) effort. However, in the scarce time which he can steal from this financial agitation or rat race (a few minutes per day and a few days per year for holidays), he who make a lot of money can have access, due to his money, to the most diverse and pleasant experiences. Be careful though, pleasure doesn’t equal happiness, but is only a component of it. A person can be unhappy even while is consuming the most pleasant experiences.

The consolation of the one who doesn’t make a lot of money is that that he can (if he know how) to fully benefit of the first dimension of happiness (inner peace) and even to have access to some satisfactory and pleasant experiences, depending on his financial and social resources. It is essential to understand the fact that a living being can fully taste a pleasant experience only by difference. By difference I mean going from something less good or good to something better. For example, if you don’t have a car and buy a decent one, the difference is huge in terms of pleasure and comfort, but if you have a Volkswagen and buy a BMW, the difference is small; if in the summer you were usually going to the swimming pool and this year you go to the sea, the difference is big and so is your pleasure, but if you were going often to the sea, the difference is almost zero; if you usually eat common aliments, when you eat caviar, the difference augment the pleasure, but if you eat daily only fine food, soon you begin to feel no difference and so no pleasure. All these happen because we humans get immediately bored once something begin repeat: either caviar, BMW or seaside waves.

In conclusion, if the inner peace is the privilege of the financially modest people, the pleasant experiences are the appanage of the wealthy ones. Also important is the fact that happiness as a state of mind is a function of interpretation. In other words, we feel or not happy depending on how do we interpret all that happens around us (what significance do we ascribe to an event, a gesture, a phenomenon, etc.). And a last idea, happiness is a process or a journey along the way, not a goal or a destination, so enjoy what you are experimenting daily!