Bangalore based journalist Suresh Menon is one of my favourite columnists. I read nothing in Friday magazine other than his piece that comes every week on the second last page.
This week he touched upon a never-ending subject of discussion and argument:
"Money cannot buy happiness, but neither can happiness buy money."
He quotes a philosopher in his article (unsure who), who captures what we think of people who have money and those who don't, so correctly it's terrifying. He says:
"If a man runs after money, he is money mad; if he keeps it, he is a capitalist; if he doesn't get it, he is dismissed as useless; if he doesn't try to get it, he lacks ambition; if he gets it without working for it, he is a parasite; and if he accumulates it after a lifetime of hard work, he is called a fool who never got anything out of life."
We always hear - money cannot buy happiness; but in his article he talks about a study where it has been proved that those who earn $150,000 a year are happier than those who earn $40,000 a year. That it is better to be rich and happy than poor and intelligent, and that, just like Albert Camus said, it is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.
These thoughts relate to the reactions I get when I tell people I have quit my job and will have no stable income, or atleast no high income, for the next year or so because I am following a dream where money isn't the end.
Have we really reached that stage where money and happiness are interchangeable?