The paradox of affluence is the manifestation of the saying that wealth cannot buy happiness. Still people continue to believe otherwise trying to get famous and rich. Often they tend to spend on things they generally do not need. Responsibility is the first step to happiness. The present economic problems of the United States are mainly due to the individual citizen’s deficit of financial thrift.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is considered as one of the earliest psychological work on happy individuals and psychological trajectory (Stehling-Ariza, 2013). There are a few basic human requirements which when fulfilled yields the maximum effects on psychological health. Therefore, the research on happiness and wealth has been related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and has been analyzed individually below.
Psychological Needs: The basic needs of human beings such as breathing, drink, food, sex, sleep, excretion and the physical and biological requirements needs to be fulfilled. When these needs are not fulfilled, people run after these needs and forget wealth and happiness. People in a natural disaster region are more concerned about food than anything else.
Safety Needs: Not only physical but also social, economic, psychological and vocational. If the security needs of an individual are under threat, he will not be concerned about happiness or wealth anymore. If a person loses his job or family, his happiness will be at stake and any amount of wealth will be useless.
Love and Belongingness Needs: Since human beings are social beings, their friends and family helps them to get through the various phases of life. If there is any lack of belongingness or intimacy in the relationships, it may lead to loneliness or depression. An unhappy person will not look for wealth; happiness will be his only pursuit (Pursuit of Happiness, 2010).
Esteem Needs: Self-esteem is an important factor for an individual to identify his personal uniqueness. This can be achieved by the love of friends and family. The unique capabilities and talents of an individual give him immense happiness and psychological freedom, where happiness is nowhere related to wealth.
Happiness can be achieved by easily if one learns how to be good, fruitful, happy fulfill potentialities, none of which depends on wealth. To identify and understand oneself as a human being and an individual deep inside gives the highest form of happiness.
An interpretation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Source: (Pursuit of Happiness, 2010)
Pursuit of Happiness,. (2010). Abraham Maslow. Retrieved 28 February 2016, from https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/abraham-maslow
Stehling-Ariza, T. (2013, November). Explaining social inequalities in health: Can maslow's hierarchy of needs help?. In 141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 2-November 6, 2013). APHA.
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