Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How Much Is Enough?

I didn't win the almost-billion dollar lottery recently. If I had, I would have been terribly surprised since I didn't buy a ticket. I figure I saved a dollar, and the old saying "fifty dollars saved is fifty dollars earned" (inflationary tale) is true in cases like this. Of course, it would have been nice trying to figure out creative ways to use all that money, but I doubt seriously if it would have made me any happier; all my "long-lost" relatives, maybe, but not me. Books have been written dealing with the disasters that have followed big winners in the lottery system, and I certainly don't want to invite disaster. But then, the question can be asked, "How much money WOULD it take to make someone happy?" Not surprisingly, studies have been done in this area, and the most recent one was something of an eye-opener. A few years ago, researchers at Princeton University completed a study of just such a question and decided that the minimum amount of yearly income in order to create happiness was$75,000. More income did NOT make people any happier, according to that study. Interesting. Now, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion has conducted another poll to find out if that number still holds does not. The institute considered the following items with regard to the happiness gauge: 1. satisfaction with neighborhood safety 2. health 3. employment 4. spiritual life, and 5. community involvement. The final result? A person can be happy with $50,000. Less=not so happy, but again, having more does not increase happiness. I find that the neighborhood is relatively safe, especially with the vigilantes out and about chasing those miscreant teenagers around (really). I'm as healthy as I could be, given my degenerate lifestyle of stressful athletics, and I am mostly employed, though I must count on a retirement savings as well. If voices in my head count as a spiritual life, I have a great one of those, and though I contribute to every fundraiser, the community gets along without my direct involvement. So, am I happy? I wonder. It might be fun to conduct my own personal study, but someone would have to provide the money...retired people have a fixed income...and mine is not up to the requirement for ultimate happiness.


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