Thursday, June 30, 2005

Friendships vs. Stuff

Will Wilkinson ( yes, I know - again) has a thoughtful post on the foundations of happiness in our consumer-oriented world. This was prompted by Robert Lane's book The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies. Basically, the thinking is: research shows that friends, family, marriage and the like are much more important than money in determining our happiness. Yet we spend a far greater portion of our lives working towards obtaining greater material wealth, often at the expense of those things that "really matter". Why is this? Read the whole thing for Will's persepctive. My personal addendum to this is that the other thing we probably undervalue is time. It's easy to give up lesiure time for more money, and so many people do it very frequently. But I've long been wary of this paradox: having the money to spend but no time to enjoy it. Hence my choice of career up to this point: not much money but lots of time to enjoy whatever you are able to save.


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