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They Say Money Can’t Buy Happiness

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    They say money can’t buy happiness.

    Whoever first said this however obviously had never had to come home, with once again, not enough money to provide a meal for every member of his family. He also did not have a tin can from an old package of wafers that contained all of the earnings he and his family would survive on for their lifetime. Yes, it all fit in a rusty, old tin can. He did not have to pull his fourteen-year-old son from school so that he could help keep their shack of a house from being foreclosed by the malicious and ruthless government officials, who like beasts prowl the area to scavenge on prey that are weaker in resources.

    Whoever said that expression probably led a comfortable, if not lavish, life and said this as a passing comment that eventually led to be popularized as a philosophical phrase that held great meaning. He did not lead a money-less life. But I do. And maybe he is correct, money can’t buy happiness, but it sure gives you a shot at it.

    It wasn’t the lack of money that got to me; it was the lack of hope for anything else. Empty dreams for my children, and monotonous futures of steel and factories that would plague not only the rest of my life, but my children’s’ and the vicious circle it would encompass in the future. There was no chance for them to live a life better than the one we so shamelessly led. There was no use dreaming dreams and fighting for wishes.

    There was no hope for the better future, we so wanted for them.I woke up a new man, in a new life, with a new, renewed future. A one-dollar lottery ticket had rewarded me five million dollars and rewarded my family a life worth living. Our home was no longer a shack, but a house with painted walls, and a refrigerator.

    My son was exhausted every day, but not from hours of labor, but from teachers that would ensure homework was given every night. And we not only had a safe in our house that contained our most precious personal belongings, but a bank account where our money was kept. Yet, something hadn’t changed.Unexpectedly, my life didn’t feel full.

    It had a void that hadn’t seemed to be filled with money, like all other aspects of my life. Part of me longed for the simplicity of a life with a tin can and the joys of family, which were no longer prevalent. Consumed in work, we rarely shared a family dinner. In a house with four rooms, my wife and I no longer slept together and I felt the intimacy begin to dissipate between us.

    I thought that once the financial aspects of life were secure, the rest would fall into place. But, I was very mistaken. I never felt further from the person I wanted to be than I did then.Despite the ambiguity of what my life would be, the money gave me something that I had longed for for so long- freedom.

    It gave me the freedom to wish for something more and work to make this wish a reality. They say money can’t buy happiness, and I think after living on both sides of the coin, I believe this saying to hold some meaning. It doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does, however, give you hope.

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