Can you be poor and happy?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
Pat Dodson
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Pat Dodson » Wed May 24, 2017 11:06 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 10:36 pm
Pat Dodson wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 8:18 pm
soltirefa wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 7:48 pm
Asking the antithesis is a good question. Can you be really rich and sad?
No Pat, resist....
Allow me to rephrase my question. If you're really rich and you stub your toe, does it hurt?
Well quite. :)

In fact there has been quite a bit of sociological and psychological research on this. Here's one summary:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.psyc ... ness%3Famp

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu May 25, 2017 12:22 am

Yes, you can be happy if you take pleasure in the little things in life, and choose to be. Every day is a gift, even with little extra money. If I lost my house, I still wouldn't have to be on the street. I'm a veteran and they have programs to get veterans an apartment. So really things should be alright. I'm so glad that I don't have to worry about seeing patients anymore. I don't miss working as a ventilator monkey. My small pension is just enough to survive on. And I get to play lots of guitar any time I want. So that helps me be happy.

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Rick Yzaguirre
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Rick Yzaguirre » Thu May 25, 2017 4:56 am

There's the psych approach. "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" is an interesting theory to look into. Starts with basic human needs and moves to more advanced needs. Can't be happy if you're cold naked and hungry.

There's other approaches but this one is pretty straightforward.

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andreas777
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by andreas777 » Thu May 25, 2017 6:30 am

I think the answer is 'yes' and there is no correlation between poorness and happiness, that means there are no prerequisites (enough food or a minimum standard of living) to be happy.
I attended a guitar concert last week, and after the guitar player completed a a slow and emotional set of a piece one woman in the first row said spontaneously (in German): "Wow, that was sooo beautiful." She said it to herself but everyone could hear it , including the guitar player, and you could see on his face how much happiness this honest compliment caused. Now imagine the same situation would happen with a poor beggar that plays guitar in a street in the winter and begs for some coins, he is hungry and the only possession beside his worn clothes is his guitar. I think he would feel the same happiness, even if it's only a temporary feeling.
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu May 25, 2017 7:53 am

Definitions of poor and happy matter a great deal when considering this. As does understanding what's meant by correlation.

Income and the age of the car you are in correlate moderately but not absolutely too. Doesn't mean a wealthy individual might not be driving an old banger or an old priceless classic car. Nor that someone with a very low income will never be found driving this year's model - there could be many reasons they might.

Many studies have shown there is a moderate correlation between wealth and happiness just as there's a moderate correlation between long term heavy smoking and lung disease. Doesn't mean every individual circumstance can be accurately predicted and there are many outlier cases. But there's a trend that is useful to those who make policy for populations.

Correlation is not the same as cause. Low income in many populations is associated with poor health, housing, nutrition, access to services etc and Rick has pointed out that these can affect mood.

What too is happiness? Lightness of spirit? Laughter? A relative absence of long term anxiety, fear and misery? A long term relative contentment?

Simple question; complex topic. Moderately correlated.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Thu May 25, 2017 8:38 am

We're all going to die anyway. Thread's a bit serious, thought I'd lighten the mood.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu May 25, 2017 8:40 am

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 8:38 am
We're all going to die anyway. Thread's a bit serious, thought I'd lighten the mood.
:lol:

Thank you Denian!

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Thu May 25, 2017 9:01 am

You're welcome :-)

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andreas777
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by andreas777 » Thu May 25, 2017 9:36 am

Pat Dodson wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 7:53 am
Many studies have shown there is a moderate correlation between wealth and happiness just as there's a moderate correlation between long term heavy smoking and lung disease.
Really? Can you name some of these (scientific!) studies?

We should distinguish between "happiness" one one side, and "contentedness" or "satisfaction" on the other side. You can be "content" with your life, you know you are successful, you passed all exams at university, you have a great job, a great family, and everything is -from a rational point of view- perfect. You are "aware" that your past, your presence, and your future, are all in good shape. This makes you satisfied of yourself and you have a feeling of contentedness". So "contentedness" or "satisfaction" typically has a rational root cause like a successful life, and there is an obvious correlation.

But "happiness" is different, at least the way I understand it and I define this term. "happiness" is just a feeling that doesn't require a rational background. You can feel happiness when there is no (rational) reason to be happy, and you can feel sadness when there is no (rational) reason to be sad. Our rational thinking is almost completely decoupled from our emotional thinking (a psychologist might give more details about this). There was a goal keeper in Germany, he played in the national soccer team, he was healthy, rich, had a wife, children, and everything looked perfect from a rational point of view. I'm sure he was "satisfied" with his career and his life in general. But he felt such an "unhappiness" that he committed suicide. You can be unhappy with millions of dollars on your bank account but an unexpected smile from a good friend can give you a feeling of happiness.
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu May 25, 2017 10:14 am

As you correctly show @andreas777 much depends on the semantics and I quite agree with your reasoning.

There's a list of references to studies at the end of the article that I linked to earlier (how scientific any study in sociology or psychology can be is another interesting topic of course.) The article also nicely discusses the difficulties that the semantics cause when considering this topic. Rightly or perhaps wrongly such studies, which have found a moderate correlation given their definitions, have looked at the relationship between wealth/lack of it and the wellbeing ("are you generally happy with your situation?") that people feel. That is indeed a different view, perhaps a wrong view, of happiness than that which you describe in your second paragraph. I think those studies are of interest but I quite accept your points. They are well made. :)

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Rick Yzaguirre
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Rick Yzaguirre » Thu May 25, 2017 10:40 am

What's the opposite of happy? Depressed? And if so could happy pills fix things? If you're poor can you take happy pills to be happy? What about it you're hungry? Hmmm?

Smudger5150
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Smudger5150 » Thu May 25, 2017 10:52 am

Rick Yzaguirre wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 4:56 am
There's the psych approach. "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" is an interesting theory to look into. Starts with basic human needs and moves to more advanced needs. Can't be happy if you're cold naked and hungry.

There's other approaches but this one is pretty straightforward.
I was thinking of this when looking at the original post but then there are situations such as the example where someone suffers for their higher goal/calling/vocation etc. e.g. the artist who lives in relative poverty etc.
But then as someone intimated, it's all a matter of perspective and what one is used to etc.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu May 25, 2017 11:08 am

Well, yeah, I was wondering when someone would mention Maslow. What usually happens is a boss doesn't want to pay you more (cos his money makes him very happy), so instead he pays a business consultant a thousand to come and tell you Maslow says money won't make you happier. The business consultant goes away very happy - it's money for old rope earning a thousand a day to recite stuff he read on the internet. The boss is happy cos the consultant guy saved him money.
Yes, you can be poor and happy.
You can also be blind and happy, but that doesn't mean your boss should poke your eyes out.
I think we can now see there's too much potential for this thread to drift into politics: and that's why I haven't bothered with it until now.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

Smudger5150
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Smudger5150 » Thu May 25, 2017 11:28 am

From my perspective, having music and progressing with CG makes me very happy to the extent that I could do without a nice car and the latest mod cons (flat TV etc).
Was musing on this the other day where someone else I knew said they had to spend all their spare time studying and working at home to 'get ahead' and didn't seem to have any time to relax.
Touches on topics others have mentioned already re: happiness and satisfaction etc.
"Music washes away the dust of every day life." Art Blakey

"If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it." Louis Armstrong

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georgemarousi
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Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by georgemarousi » Thu May 25, 2017 12:31 pm

A nice statement I saw recently on a video, as good as I can remember it:

Happiness in the equation of what we have in life over / what our expectations are :)
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