Pizza, suffering and money 4

Posted by daniel Fri, 30 Jun 2006 02:00:00 GMT

Bob paid for pizza at Piecora’s today where we happened upon some of the folks from Bryght and Raincity in town from Vancouver for a Drupal meetup (as linkalicious a series of shout-outs as I’ve ever written).

Much of today’s conversation revolved around the book Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life, the universality of human suffering, and how identifing your personal suffering can help you to move beyond it. Josh has to finish the book before we know the punchline so I steered us to the always fascinating money question—how much would it take to make you happy? Reflecting on the fate of most lottery winners and friends with money we agreed that money can’t make you happy (in fact, often does the opposite). But everyone held up their hand when asked if they’d hold onto the winning lottery ticket given the opportunity. Hair of the dog that hasn’t bit you.

After our meal (they accidentally gave us an extra half pizza for free) Bob said, “pizza is my cryptonite”. We took a lap around Cal Anderson Park to walk it off.

I suppose the lesson here was best summarized by Eric who matter-of-factly claimed that $2,000,000 would make him 10% happier … at most. Pushed to clarify, he claims it would likely make him 2 to 5% happier. I have to agree.


Leave a response

  1. Cottonball Fri, 30 Jun 2006 03:10:30 GMT

    Speaking of money and happiness, the Globe and Mail referenced this Science magazine article on the same subject.

  2. Daniel Spils Fri, 30 Jun 2006 05:43:28 GMT

    Wow. That’s an awesome summary of my feeling on the matter, Cottonball. Thanks.

  3. Bob Aman Fri, 30 Jun 2006 13:44:30 GMT

    If I won the lottery, I’m 100% certain I’d give it all away. That’s not to say I don’t want to be wealthy—I do. But for me, wealth is more of a challenge. I grew up in a family just barely above the poverty line and my memories of childhood are chock-full of reminders that I could rarely enjoy the things that my peers could, simply because our family couldn’t afford to. So for me, working my butt off to get ahead is sort of my way of proving that all of the sacrifices my parents made were worth it.

    Beyond that, wealth doesn’t seem to me to be related to happiness at all. As far as I’m concerned, it’s about freedom. Freedom from debt, freedom from the constraints of typical employment, freedom to use one’s time more effectively. With that in mind, I have a feeling that, should I ever find myself in a position of significant wealth, I would probably start thinking strongly about moving back to Africa to help with the relief work that’s going on there. I’ve just never liked the idea of relying on other people’s donations in order to do charity work.

  4. [email protected] Tue, 04 Jul 2006 18:58:23 GMT

    great seeing you all, no matter how brief and yeah that sciencemag article looks to be cool (if it was on the internets :-) ! )