In my last column piece, “The best things in life are free,” I tried to demonstrate that the best things in life are not just things, but consist of the priceless but “essential” joys of life – hugs, friends and family, smiles, sleep, laughter, happy memories, and love.
These best things in life provide lasting happiness and are FREE, God-given, and all for our taking.
Continuing along this thought, I’d like to delve further with this piece that, on the same vein, there are things in life that money cannot buy.
Of course, I’m not out to undermine the importance of money in our life. While it is true that it can’t buy happiness, it is equally true that money can certainly provide some security for us.
Having money is not the problem – or, as oft said, not the root of all evils. What is more problematic is when we make money as the be-all and end-all of our pursuits and endeavors. In particular, it’s the relentless pursuit of money that many people realize that money is not, and never will be, the answer to what makes a person happy.
If money then cannot buy happiness, what else can money not buy?
According to the Power of Positivity website (powerofpositivity.com), there are “10 Things Money Can’t Buy”:
1. Love. Money can buy lust, attraction and power…but it can’t buy love. This is because love is something intimate; something heartfelt; something mysterious. Money is none of these things. Money is simply used to pay for a product or a service: convenience, comfort, and luxury – none of which typify what human beings truly need.
2. Truth. Money may be able to buy influence, but truths are the most influential of all. Oftentimes money is spent to push beliefs or an agenda, and can even be spent to create biased research to bolster an opinion. But, in the end, no matter how much money is spent on stifling or skewing the truth, it will always be revealed in the end.
3. Time. Each passing minute is time that you will never get back: you are one minute closer to dying. Our life starts to fade away from the moment we are born. Despite all of the scientific and medical advances, there exists no practical way to significantly extend life. No amount of money will be able to turn the clocks back. We must simply take life in, moment-by-moment, while experiencing it to the fullest.
4. Peace. The cultivation of your thoughts is the only thing that will ever bring you true peace. Look at the countless amounts of money that governments and individuals have spent in the name of “peace”. These vast sums have never been able to come close to what we would define as “peaceful”. Your inner peace does not depend on the ‘balance’ section of your bank statement.
5. Talent. The gifts and abilities that you possess in your mind and body are priceless. While money can help develop a talent, it will never be able to purchase a talent or skill. The mental processes and dexterity of the mind and body will never be purchasable…they are invaluable.
6. Health. While certainly true that money can purchase healthcare and medicine, it cannot replace natural health once it’s gone. At the same time, activities like exercise, preventive medicine, and natural self-care costs little to nothing.
7. Manners/Class. Rude people exist across the entire income spectrum. How to treat someone in a respectful manner obviously does not come from money. Arguably, there are more wealthy and entitled snobs than there are those of modest means. Money may indeed put you into a “higher class”, but it certainly does not make you classy.
8. True friends. Possessing money may certainly attract people who want to be friends, but it doesn’t guarantee true friendship. Most true friends love one another. Money and possessions don’t matter to true friends…your person matters.
9. Knowledge. The information that you accumulate, the elements of your intellect, and the ways that you exhibit wisdom can never be bought.
10. Presence & Acceptance. Perhaps the most important is presence and acceptance – the ability to be mindfully present and accept, without judgment, each and every situation. The ability to be present, while accepting each moment as we navigate life is a valuable gift…more valuable than any amount of money.
Ah. Let me add one more: Freedom. Money may make you rich, but not necessarily “free”. True freedom – in particular, “the power of choice and freedom even in point of no-choice” – our grandest gift from God, has no price tag.
The freedom to choose (particularly according to Viktor Frankl, “to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way as the last of human freedoms”) is the very essence of human experience – which, certainly, money cannot buy.
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