Can Money Truly Buy Us Happiness?

Aizaz Baqir
4 min readDec 10, 2020


If money could truly (I am saying truly) buy happiness, most of the rich people would not complain about the meaninglessness, directionlessness, and shallowness of life.

What most people tend to forget or ignore is the fact that money is a “means” to achieve some “ends” and not an end per se.

Hence money can satisfy our biological needs/instincts and we can have a sense of achievement for a short span of time, but it can’t give us an everlasting/spiritual satisfaction and a sense of meaning and direction.

For Instance, with money one can buy a car and get its fuel tank filled, but if one doesn’t know where to go and what is the purpose of the journey, a shiny new model car and a filled to capacity fuel tank can be of no use or value.

Here is a story for my readers:

The sack

Mula came upon a frowning man walking down the road to town.

“What’s wrong ?” he asked.

The man held up a tattered bag and moaned, “All that I owe in this wide world, barely fills this miserable, wretched sack.”

“Too bad”, said Mula, and with that, he snatched the sack from the man’s hands and ran down the road with it.”

Having lost everything, the man burst into tears, and more miserable than before, continued walking, moaning and groaning.

Meanwhile, Mula quickly ran around the bend and placed the man’s sack in the middle of the road where he would have to come upon it.

When the man again saw his sack sitting in the road before him, he laughed with joy, and shouted, “My sack! I thought, I’d lost you.”

Watching through the bushes, Mula chuckled. “Well that is one way to make someone happy.”

We always have some immediate concern at hand and when that concern is gone, we again become depressed.

Therefore, we mus know that happiness has nothing to do with money because it also solves our immediate material problems and not the spiritual ones.

There is a term “Paradox of Hedonism”. which explains that constant pleasure seeking may not yield the most actual pleasure or happiness in the long-run or even in the short run when consciously seeking pleasure interfere with experiencing it.

I short, in life there always seems to be an inflation in the very idea of happiness, and bar keeps getting higher and higher. It is because there is always a minimum level of contentment, but there is never an upper limit to reach. Even if you become the richest person in the world, you will continue to have sleepless nights to maintain your number one position.

Actually, one must know that “happiness” is not like “pleasure.”

Money has nothing to do with “Happiness”, because it is a non material/non physical/spiritual feeling. On the contrary, pleasure is a physical feeling that can be bought through money. Money can buy you comfort or pleasure, but not the happiness.

And, hence as the pleasure is an ephemeral feeling, it can not last for more than some minutes/hours. That is why the rich or famous people have to constantly struggle to pursue the feelings of satisfaction. And the more they struggle and chase the happiness, the less they have.

It is because they are actually chasing pleasure in the form of material comforts and joys (that can only last of a short span of time) and not happiness that is a spiritual sort of feeling.

Youth, beauty, and riches may be lots of fun, but they don’t give you happiness. More, money, fame, or beauty do virtually nothing to lift your spirits. On the other hand, you may actually feel worse:

john Stuart Mills, in his autobiography, says:

“But, I now thought that this end (one’s happiness) was only to be attained by not making it the direct end. Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness{….} Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness along the way{….} Ask your self whether you are happy and you cease to be so.”

(Paradox of Hedonism, The Sophist Society, 4 May, 2011. Retrieved 2013–04–24)

And according to Osho: “pleasure binds you, it is a bondage, it chains you. Happiness gives you a little more rope, a little bit of freedom, but only a little bit. Bliss is is absolute freedom. You start moving upwards, it gives you wings. You are no more part of the gross earth, you are part of the sky. You become light, you become joy.




Aizaz Baqir

I am a freelance writer and translator based in Multan, Pakistan having interests in reading, writing, travelling and social services.