Does money buy happiness?
The relationship between money and happiness has been discussed for hundreds of years.
My history teacher once mentioned Croesus, the King of Lydia, when we discussed it:
“Croesus, who was boasting about his riches, was caught by the Persian king Cyrus and sentenced to death. At that time he screamed saying, ‘Solon, you were right!’ Indeed, when he asked Solon, an Athenian who was known for his wisdom, if he would be happier with such wealth and treasure, Solon told him we could only understand whether we have had a happy life after death.”
Apparently, the gold of Croesus, who was the captive by the Persian King and lost his son, were not sufficient to make him happy.
Let’s think about today and ask whether the richness of countries has genuinely contributed to people’s happiness.
Recently, I have encountered an interesting article (www.visualcapitalist.com) from Jeff Desjardins, who is the founder of the Visual Capitalist.
Qatar is rich, but unhappy
Desjardins juxtaposed per capita income data from the World Bank and the 2017 Happiness Index, reaching a conclusion that money does not always buy happiness.
For instance, Costa Rica, with its per capita income of $15,400 scores a 7.14 in the Cantril Ladder system, which measures happiness. This happiness figure is above the figures of the United States, Belgium, and Germany, which have much higher levels of wealth.
On the other hand, Qatar, with a per capita basis of $127,000, only scores a 6.37 on the Cantril Ladder.
Similarly, the richness of countries with high levels of wealth, such as Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore or Luxembourg, are not reflected in their happiness scores.
I strongly recommend you look at the Visual Capitalist website.
“Love Money!” is the title of the book recently written by Çiğdem Atabey.
Summing up the main philosophy of her life as “love yourself, forgive yourself, forgive others and be thankful,” Atabey asks interesting questions in her book:
- Are you tired of worrying about money?
- Do you think money runs away from you?
- Are you ever afraid of money?
- Do rich people annoy you?
- Do you think you work hard to make money while others make money easily?
If you answer “yes” to at least three of these questions, then she says you are reading the right book.
Two new books
Let’s continue with other recent books, such as Binbir Bahçe Masalları (A Thousand and One Garden Stories) by Ceylân Orhun and Bayan Değil Kadın (Woman not Miss) by Seda Kaya Güler.
Seda Kaya Güler’s book points out to gender inequality in society.
She criticizes the use of the Turkish word “bayan,” which corresponds with “miss/mrs” in English, instead of “kadın,” which means woman.
“Miss/mrs is just a way of addressing someone. We should start focusing on gender-related issues by calling women ‘women,’” Güler says.
Meanwhile, Ceylân Orhun talks about her garden, which she has created from scratch.
She supports her book with precious knowledge and documents for those who dedicate themselves to gardening.
Undoubtedly, her book fills an important gap in the culture of gardening.