The Cost of Happiness

Happiness is relative. Most people think rich people are happy. I have lived in Palm Beach and Duchess County. Their wealth is no guarantee of happiness. Wives run away with brothers, husbands are murdered in a jealous rage, children are abandoned at birth. Very much like Thai soap operas, however listening to high society moan about their woes, I suspected that they air their problems before the lower classes only to still any latent revolutionatry asperations.

Money might not be able to buy happiness, but its buying power might be able to rent it, for cold hard cash is king in today’s consumer society and several years ago the chief executive officer of a Thai national bank addressed this issue at a seminar by descrying the basic faults of capitalism.

A banker against capitalism?

The date was pre-2008.

His unsparing criticism of the #1 capitalist country in the world attacked the inadequacies of the Thai health system and lambasted the short-term satisfaction of materialism, while also recognizing the inequalities of the Thai system, especially in education.

“Many children spend their lives going to school on the back of a motorcycle or a bus. Yet the children of those setting these policies sit in a Mercedes. To address these and many other ills, we should have a different focus, one focused on life, on quality of life.”

Nice to say money isn’t everything once you have it.

For the rest of us happiness can be achieved in the small things like finding 100 baht in your pocket or making a green light on Pattaya Tai or being told you’re sexy by the girls of Soi 6.

That happiness does not have a price.

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