Archive for the ‘Zac Bissonnette’ tag
I read Money Lessons for Every High-School Graduate by Zac Bissonnette in today’s Wall Street Journal newspaper. Bissonnette’s piece is one of the most direct and sensible articles about money I’ve yet read.
While the lessons of this article are aimed at recent high school graduates, I think the lessons have yet to be learned by many people.
Lesson number four particularly resonates with me:
“Materialism is misery: Lives of thrift and conscientiousness lead to less stress, greater enjoyment of the things we do have and a lighter carbon footprint. But most of our societal associations with wealth are deeply connected with materialism: luxury goods, power and status.
“The more materialistic values are at the center of our lives, the more our quality of life is diminished,” says Knox College psychologist Tim Kasser, author of “The High Price of Materialism.”
Recognize the real benefits of wealth — freedom and flexibility — and don’t let the pursuit of its illusory trappings interfere with your ability to reap those rewards.”
Thanks to my generous relatives, rental and investment income, I have the freedom and flexibility the passage refers to.
That makes me richer than almost everyone I know, in my mind.
Even better, I am happy. I like my house, car and possessions, and I rarely dream of upgrading them.
Might I appreciate a gilded existence? Perhaps, but perhaps not, because with material riches come pressures that I have seen make many people unhappy.
I’ll take my happy, freedom filled middle class life over an unhappy, constrained upper class life… with joy.
I am confident I’ll make a lot more money, but happiness is more important than money.