when everything else is monetized, how “much” are you satisfied right now?

moneysmart (an inquirer featured blog) talked about a survey made by the institute of education of university of london about putting a price tag of friends, relatives and neighbours. it was quite interesting i am copying the link of the report for your reference here before i discuss what i have learned through reading the report.

the study said that assuming i am a briton, if i meet my friends and relatives once or twice a week, it would be earning GBP69,500 a year compared to not meeting them at all in a month. and that marriage gives me extra GBP50,500 but a separation can set me back to -GBP139,000. (oh well, there is a good thing why some people would rather be miserably single than take the risk; life is such a gamble!).

you would, of course by now, realized that these numbers are the numerical worth of social involvements in terms of life satisfaction.

i shall stop right there (and pretty please read the survey report yourself) before i started sounding like a geeky nerd (which, in some ways, i am but that’s another story). i would like, however, to expound on this quite an interesting report.

i agree in the report’s abstract that “actual changes in income buy very little happiness“. for one, the government would set back your incremental income by taking a considerable % of it through the power of withholding taxes. for the other, a higher income makes it easier for people to start aiming for a higher lifestyle- which doesn’t always mean a better and less worrisome one. well, you do realize that moving to a bigger house means bigger maintenance costs right? what were you thinking hoping that utility bills wouldn’t change considerably?

but would i really be considerably satisfied with life if i was married by now? or if i take efforts on knocking on my neighbour’s door and asked them if it is just me or the weather’s making everybody lazy to get up? or if i have more friends than i do now and talk to them more often than i do now?

yes, probably.

but would it have make me stop wanting to earn more?

probably not.

i have been wondering for a long time what makes people want to survive. it does not make sense to try survive now so you can die later. there must be something about being alive that makes people want to wake up in the morning (or just wake up, in case of people like me who don’t have a permanent sleeping hours anymore). and when i look back at my life for the past 27 years (or maybe 22 years- have really no idea about my life until i turned 5), the reasons varied. there was the afternoon playtime with cousins when i was kid. there was paopao, briefly. then there was college and independence. there was the glitter and sparkle of earning my own money after graduation. there was the debt i have to settle. there is my family. there is the 100 things i want. and then, there is falling in love.

are we surviving for the experience? and then, what?

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