A few days ago, I added Happy this Year by Will Bowen to my new Kindle Paperwhite. For years, I stayed away from electronic readers. I had become accustomed to the solace of holding a book in my hands and feeling the pages turn while progressing to the end. In April, I purchased a Kindle and will be hard pressed to return to yesterday’s comfort.
The first chapter has some compelling thoughts on money and happiness. The opening line is a quote from George Carlin that says, “Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.” George sure had a nice method of delivering a knockout punch.
A few pages later, there is a Chinese proverb that puts it this way:
With money you can buy a house, but not a home.
With money, you can buy a clock, but not time.
With money, you can buy a book but not knowledge.
With money, you can buy a position, but not respect.
With money, you can buy blood, but not life.
With money, you can buy sex, but not love.
A central thesis of the chapter is that people experience loss more deeply than they enjoy gain. A simple litmus test is to compare finding $1,000 to losing the same amount. At this juncture, he quotes Vin Scully in the context of sports, he said, “Losing feels worse than winning feels good.”
Having lots of money eliminates one problem: a lack of money.