It’s time for the blog to get philosophical, Modern Philosophers.
I didn’t come to this decision randomly. I was sitting out on the porch the other day, reading a book, and minding my own business when the DeLorean materialized out of the blue in the driveway.
I’m always excited when Doc Brown, the blog’s biggest fan and largest financial backer, stops by The House on the Hill. His visits have been sporadic lately, though, because he’s busy with the time traveling thing, so this was a very pleasant surprise.
Turns out Doc has been spending time with an Amish community in late nineteenth century Pennsylvania. As a result, he was eager to talk about how important it is to enjoy the simple things in life, and that money, technology, and possessions aren’t important as long as you have community and love.
Of course, I had to chime in with a comment about how ironic it was that without technology and money, Doc would not have been able to time travel back to live among the Amish and realize he felt this way.
Doc scolded me with the classic comeback: Money can’t buy happiness.
I saw this as a perfect opportunity to conduct a social science experiment, and prove both Doc and that annoying saying wrong.
Because after years of independent research, I believe that money can buy happiness, Modern Philosophers. And if someone would give me one million dollars, I am ready to prove my theory to the world.
Please note I am asking to be given this money. It is not a loan that will be paid back. Science is expensive. I’m sure you can all understand.
Doc scoffed at my idea initially, but then said he was eager to review the results. Apparently, just a little time back in the present day, far from the clutches of the Amish, reawakened his Deep Thoughts.
So who’s up for sending me one million dollars? It doesn’t all have to come from one person, of course. A few of you can pony up a quarter million each. However you guys want to sort it out.
The donor(s) will receive a ton of mention when I publish my findings, and I’ll even name a character after you in my next screenplay.
And there’s absolutely no need to limit the donation to a mere million. That’s just a jumping off point, the minimum necessary to really crawl inside this ancient philosophy and pull out the cold, hard truth.
How do I intend to go about proving my theory?
I’m going shopping for happiness, of course. I understand what would make me happy, and before any of you wise acres brings it up, I do not plan to spend the million dollars on a mail order bride. Ha ha.
The first thing I’d do is pay off my mortgage, and then settle up on my property taxes for the next ten years. With the worry of keeping a roof over my head suddenly gone, I’d be able to write full time. That alone would make me very happy.
I’d buy a new laptop, and make some long needed repairs/changes to The House on the Hill like a new furnace, better windows and insulation to keep it warm, and some actual furniture to make this place feel like a home again.
There would be a large donation to the Bangor Humane Society, and a smaller one to my local library. I love animals and books. This should ensure that both are well taken care of, which would make me very happy.
Next, I would put up enough money to get one of my screenplays into production. That investment in my future should open more doors, and bring in new income so I’m no longer dependent on this million dollars to survive.
That would leave plenty of money to pay the bills, stock the fridge, and allow me to do random fun things like go to New York to visit old friends and attend every game of a Yankees home stand.
It doesn’t take much to make me happy, Modern Philosophers.
The money would simply buy me out of the everyday debt that makes us so dependent on money in the first place.
I just want to be comfortable in my home, doing what I want for a living. Once I’m happy, then maybe it will be easier to find a special someone to make my life complete.
If not, I’ll just go to more Yankee games. Or see if I can buy a tiny share in the team.
Who’s ready to send me that million dollars so I can turn Philosophy into fact and prove Doc wrong in the process? The interns are standing by the phones ready give you the information you need to route me the funds.
I wonder if I’ll get a Nobel Prize for this. That would make me happy, too…
Do you think money could buy you happiness? How much would it take to put a smile on your face? How would you spend it to achieve happiness?
I agree that money might buy some happiness by removing obstacles to it, Austin. Because this merely is a supposition of mine, I’m in no position to send any cha-ching to help in your experiment. Sorry.
Thanks, Mark. Maybe the next time I need a million dollars… 🙂
Wow, this is troubling. It is very unusual to find myself disagreeing with you. But, you see, I’ve just finished the manuscript of a novel featuring two rich people who are unhappy because of the burden of their money. So, because I’ve written fiction on the topic, I claim substantial expertise.
Be careful, Austin, what you wish for.
You make an excellent argument for why I need to conduct this experiment. We’re just trying to find out if money can buy happiness…
I subscribe to the idea that misery with money is better than misery without money. I’m not sure if that equates to money bringing happiness, but it makes sense to me.
I’m not looking to be rich. I just want to unburden myself from debt so I can do my dream drive and donate to charity…
Well, then that is your definition of rich. People define rich in different ways. For me, rich is mental and physical health combined with financial peace of mind.