Review 2006

A Lurker asks:
People say money can't buy you happiness. I find this an over simplification of a complicated argument. What is your point of view?

I forgot to buy a lottery ticket this week. It didn't dawn on me until the actually draw was taking place, as Jenni Falconer revealed the increasingly lower potential jackpot. This might not have been much a problem were it not that I play the same numbers every week and have done since the first time the balls popped out of the machine. Over the ensuing moments, I sighed with relief each time the voice of the balls confirmed that no, none my numbers were there and I had been reprieved. On the occasion, I was actually happy that my lottery numbers hadn't come up. I should note that a friend of mine was in the same situation a few Christmases ago and had missed out on a couple of hundred thousand because he'd been too ill to get the newsagents. That is depressing.

The thing is I know that instant wealth wouldn't necessarily make me entirely happy. I know that my family would be comfortable and I would be able to do all of the things I wanted to do, my big plan being to travel the world, see the sights, visit the festivals, friends at home and abroad. From a young age I've wanted to do the grand tour, and I'd be able to do that too. But I'd be traveling alone and in a magnification of my increasingly distant Paris trip I'd be living in hotel rooms and probably dreaming of home. But, if I was to find somewhere to live in the UK, or New York or wherever, I couldn't simply stay in one place if I had the choice to travel and to do things. I'm that kind of person, I have the itch to be doing something, never content to just be content.

In short, I think that if you're the kind of person who gets depressed easily, money isn't going to help. You'll fill your house with stuff, give your money away if you like, but you won't necessarily be happier and if you're someone who is born into wealth or has worked your way into it, you'll probably have even more demands so that you can keep yourself wealthy. You'll inevitably find something else to be depressed or angry about. If you're easily bored too, no matter how many new experiences you have it'll never be enough because you lack the get up and go - that why you were bored before. But if you're already a happy person, seeing light in everything, money will just become an extension of that, money will make you even happier. Although if you were to lose it all, that could make you depressed.

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