Sunday, November 5, 2006

Purchasing qualities

I said earlier that I would post how my new possessions at college (fridge, new clothes, blender, carpet, etc.) would make me feel. I would argue that they really have made me happier. While I tried my best not to have a confirmation bias while I was conducting my quasi-experiment, I am now more convinced that having a certain amount of money to spend on useful possessions really can make the average person happier. A fridge has allowed me to drink chilled beverages when the weather is hot (which happens, never), and the blender allows me to make protein shakes which will should help me reach 250 one of these days.

The idea that you can buy a certain amount of happiness (I just bought the #1 doctor recommended "Chloraseptic" to help fix my sore throat--essentially instant bliss) has led me to question some of the other sayings about what you can buy and what you can't buy. The first one that popped into my mind was the saying that "you can't buy freedom." That's a joke. Freedom is one of the simplest things that you can buy. If you have enough money, you have the freedom to not work, you have the freedom to travel the world, you have the freedom to spend money pursuing your own projects. You can absolutely buy freedom.

True, I don't think that you can buy friendship. I don't think you can buy sadness, and I don't think you can buy laughter. You can buy things that will make you laugh, but you have to want to laugh in order to be able to.

But I think that it is fiddlesticks when people say that you can't buy short-run happiness, or when they claim that you can't buy freedom.