Listening to “Shopaholic” by Epik High while on the way home and a line in the song really stuck out to me. It was in the midst of the lyrics cycling between korean and english. The line was “..but you can’t but love or happiness.” That aroused a vivid mental emotional response. I will wholeheartedly agree that you can’t buy love with money. I concede in that argument all the way. You can definitely influence others into feeling something like love for you with money, but not actual genuine emotion. What you will not do, is sit there and tell me money can’t buy you happiness.
That I do not concede to.
I fully understand that I seek to go against one of the widely accepted beliefs in society. “Money can’t buy happiness.” “Money can’t make you happy.” “Money is the root of all evil.” Although, that last one is a general alternate interpretation and the real motivator behind it is actually greed. I grew up a spoiled kid for most of my life so far, but we didn’t always have money so I perfectly know the struggle of life in contrast to financial privilege. Having money makes things easier. You don’t stress over bills. You don’t worry about where food is coming from. You don’t have to sacrifice for bare necessities. You aren’t restricted in doing what you want because you can’t afford it. You’re not stuck working a job you dislike to make sure you have a decent place to live. Shit, without money you don’t even have a place to live! Life without money is stress, grief, and general discontentment.
Life with money is easy.
It is privilege. It brings access. It is status. It brings you things you never had. Most importantly for me and a main producer of my elation, it is a tool with which you can bring happiness to others in need. When I had my job where I worked insanely hard pulling extra hours at to receive a bigger paycheck, most of that money never really went to me. Yeah I had my comforts, like my xbox or my car, to bring me relief at the end of a long day, but a good 60 – 70 percent of it went to putting a smile on my brothers’ faces. Seeing those smiles light up from trips or gifts or just simple trips out the house to the movies made me happy and them happy. Money did that. Those roadtrips out the state with my friends, going to different conventions, and seeing cool sights. Money did that too. When I was a depressed teenager and I put mind into videogames so I could remove myself from reality for a while and be content with things. How do you think I got those games? Oh yeah, money did that. This laptop that I’m typing on….money got this too. Can you tell me a starving child is happy when all they need is some money to buy food? Can you tell me the homeless pregnant lady I had to pass in the city on that cold day was happy in her situation when she only needs some money to have an apartment? Can you tell me someone sick and in need of medicine they can’t afford is happy without the funds to acquire their own good health? I dare you to. Not working for this long and having to tightly manage my money is bringing me down constantly. It’s not because I value the superficial so much. I’m not one of those people. I’m not suffering because I can’t buy the latest pair of Jordan’s from Footlocker. I run a very minimalistic lifestyle with not much room for the shiny things. It’s full of quality time with loved ones, looking for work to hold me over until academy starts, and personal time for reflection in my religion. I would love to have the ability to do what I want for who I want again, but I can’t. I am restricted in my enjoyment of life because of my lack of riches.
You are not going to tell me money doesn’t buy happiness. Living life has taught me the opposite.
I will say this though. The only reason this is valid is because of the way the world has its values set up. Another great line from an Epik High song “Lesson 4 (Tablo’s Word)” is “Money is power, only while nothing is free.” I think that is a very good representation of the state of the world. All these things I talked about are what make me happy, not the money itself. If we annihilated the cost of everything in the world, I wouldn’t need money for my merriment. Money wouldn’t be my route to these things to fill me with joy. Unfortunately as the world is now, the only way to get these things is to buy them. To buy them I need money because that’s currency. If you equate those things to my happiness because they are what facilitate it, then you come to the equation of money buys happiness.
I don’t place a value on money because it is something I value. I value what it can bring. It isn’t my fault the system is designed so that I need one to acquire the other. I understand this is a very harsh way to view this concept. If maybe there is something I have missed that could help me see the other point of view, please let me know. I’d love to consider it.
Til next time. Stay frosty.
p.s. No formal post tomorrow. I have employment stuff to do and I’ll be mentally sidetracked all day. I will however post some videos of songs from Epik High. They are my favorite hiphop group in the world. My favorite musical artists actually. They’re a very lyrical group and a good listen. …of course I’ll make sure to have them with subtitles. :]