As a kid we used to study in our school that:
‘Money can bring you bed
But can’t bring you sleep
Money can bring you food
But not the hunger
Money can bring you house
But not the home’
In this fast pace world, where everyone is running after material happiness, luxuries, and fame – money can help you a bit. But it can’t give you eternal happiness. It is indeed true that money is important in this world, without it you can’t survive. But it is also true that it can’t bring you all the joys of life. If that had been true then we have a lot of examples; where we see people with large bank accounts, big fame but still they struggle with depression, face anxiety and live in misery. We all know about the King of Rock & Roll, famous American singer Elvis Presley. He was considered as the richest and most handsome man of his time. But at the age of 42, he died of excessive drug abuse. He was alone when he was in depression. We see other great celebrities who commit suicide due to the problems in their life.
The fact is that money alone can’t bring you happiness. You need someone whom you can love; one who can love you. Happiness isn’t an exclusive thing, it needs to be inclusive. You need to share it with others; only then it increases. But still, even after you have found someone to love, someone to share your happiness with. It is not sure that you would be happy.
Once, a spiritual Sadhu visited the house of a millionaire. It was a big house with large number of rooms, great interior designs, everything. The Sadhu sanctified every room with the holy water. One last room was remaining. When the Sadhu visited the last room, he was shocked. There was a cage in that room and inside that cage, there was a small young boy frothing, crying and shouting loudly. He was shouting very angrily. The Sadhu turned to the man and asked the man, ‘Why is this cage here?’
He said, ‘Let it be here.’
But the Sadhu said, ‘No, no, no, why, why?
He said, ‘This is my only son.’
The Sadhu said, ‘But why is he in a cage?’
He said that, ‘He has lost the stability of his mind. If he is outside; he bites us and hurts us.’
Then Sadhu asked, ‘But he is your only son?’
The man said, ‘I know he is my only son but he doesn’t know that he is my only son.’
Then the Sadhu said, ‘All the wealth of this home, perhaps, the servants are enjoying more than the only son and inheritor of the home.’ What is the use of millions and billions; if you are not happy from inside? Money just provides us freedom, but happiness is something which is directly connected to the spirit soul. There are hundreds of examples in this modern day world where young graduates or rich people live their jobs and don the saffron robes to find everlasting peace and happiness. There are also instances where people follow their dreams instead of pursuing rich lucrative jobs. But still, we run after money blindly. Our scriptures proclaim that, ‘Contentment is Happiness.’ But we measure our satisfaction, our happiness from the amount of money we possess.
Someone has beautifully put up that;
‘These are the times of fancier houses but broken homes. These are the times of double incomes but more divorces. These are the times of high rise buildings and low rise characters. These are the times of broader highways but narrower viewpoints. These are the times when man has gone all over the moon and has come back but he feels it extremely difficult to cross the road and meet his new neighbour. These are the times when we have broken the atom but we feel it extremely difficult to break a prejudice. These are the times when we have much to show in the show-window and nothing in the stock-room.’ The list is very long. But the main thing which I want to highlight is that; we are going technologically much advanced, economically advanced and in a few years, it would be no surprise if we start living on Mars, but somewhere we are losing the happiness. We are losing the tenderness, love, care, and respect. In this age of cut-throat competition; sure we are climbing the ladders of great success but lastly we find ourselves alone. There is no peace. There is competition between friends, there is competition between brothers & sisters and surprisingly we see that there is competition between husband and wife too.
Happiness is not a product which you can purchase from a shopping mall. It has to be perceived. It is a thing to share with others. You can’t keep it to yourself only. Money can give us temporary pleasures but they get lost very easily. But people still consider that money can bring them all the happiness. I would like to say that, it’s a mirage, like deer spots water in the desert. Similarly we continuously imagine happiness in the materialistic things which money can buy. But as soon as our illusion vanishes, we soon find ourselves in the miseries of this world. Money is important when it satisfies our needs, but it becomes harmful when man starts the greed.
Note: This article first appeared in an Essay Contest.
Thanks For Reading
Gaurav S Kaintura
24 December 2017
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