It is time we seriously read Alexander Pope's that famous poem, Quiet Life, alternatively titled Solitude, describing the characteristics of a happy life, which are satisfaction, self-sufficiency and piety. When viewed from this philosophical angle, the question is how much money would an internally satisfied, self-sufficient and pious family need to remain happy, which we can be sure, would be far less than the $75,000 benchmark for supreme happiness, as calculated by the two Princeton researchers. Satisfied here means satisfied with what he is having at present, not interested in increasing his landed properties, buying another house or improving one, contented with the old car, deciding to live without dogs and costly pets and keeping away from expensive trips. Self sufficiency means keeping at least a cow in the house for milk. Piety is unchanging, unwavering belief and confidence in oneself and in the goodwill of the community one lives in. Actually, how much will such a family need to live on happily in U.S. standards? After going through the findings of this University research, we can find that they erred in two things: that higher incomes only make people happier to a point is not a new finding. The Oriental Studies Faculty of Princeton University, if approached, would have told them it has been the accepted philosophy of living in Asian countries for centuries since the time of Gauthama Buddha. The other error is, their finding that after that benchmark, additional income buys life satisfaction but not happiness. The researchers will know the exact position when they leave research and when and if become rich men. Additional income beyond a reasonable benchmark buys life not happiness but fear.
[In reply to Linked In discussion: What is the price of happiness in the US? started by Michael Segal, Higher Education Professional]