WRITTEN BY: JENNA COMPERCHIO
COVER PHOTO COURTESY: WIX
Does money actually benefit you as a person? No. Yes, it buys your basic necessities; health care, food, a home, but other than that, money does nothing to benefit your personal life indefinitely, aka your happiness and well-being.
Many people believe that money buys happiness, but, in most cases, they couldn’t be more wrong. In the journal, Nature Human Behavior, studies show, “Once we reach a certain income - $105,000 in the United States, $95,000 globally - more income tends to be associated with reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being.” If you’re wondering, “WhY wOuLdN’T tHeY bE hApPy? tHeY’rE rIcH,” I was wondering the same thing.
However, after researching why on Earth people with a lot of money always seem to ruin their life in some way or another, I began to find answers. I found that privilege and wealth does something to your brain and changes the way you think and act. In Paul Piff’s Ted Talk on “Does money make you mean?” he said, “As a person's levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increase.” Someone who has no compassion or empathy, feels entitled, and is selfish, is not the kind of person I would befriend.
Ironically, relationships are the one thing that suffer the most in a wealthy person’s life for multiple reasons. “Wealthier people are more narcissistic and get more happiness out of their own accomplishments than from their relationships with others. The same type of independent mindset (may enable them to more likely ‘shrug off’ their interpersonal conflicts and reason less wisely),” said Time Magazine author Amanda Macmillan. This may explain why the rate of infidelity/failed marriages is so prevalent in higher class relationships; they’re always looking for the younger, better version of something.
At the same time, the relationship between wealthy parents and their children is being negatively affected. “Wealthy young adults have significantly higher chances of drinking and smoking marijuana than low-income young adults,” said The Right Step Organization. Some causes of that behavior could have been childhood neglect from their money-driven parents or the constant pressure from their parents to be successful.
To me, being overly wealthy is just a gamble. You are always worried about losing money, so you don’t get the chance to enjoy your fortune. Money messes with your head so much that you aren’t even the same person once you’ve been exposed to that type of wealth.
So yes, money does help you survive, but if you’re not happy while you’re worrying about surviving, what’s the point? If your only goal in life is to become extremely wealthy or you already are, I challenge you to try and change the statistics of rich people. Be compassionate, empathetic, and selfless; don’t feel entitled or deserving of anything. Share your wealth with those in need, donate to charities, do anything you can to help others.