Can you be poor and happy?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
glassynails
Posts: 5561
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by glassynails » Fri May 26, 2017 10:35 pm

I think it's inspiring that humans can persevere and survive through poverty. I was just looking at pictures of people that live in Appalachia here in the U.S. and their rundown homes and trailers. There's an old woman on YT in a little film called "A new home for Virgie" in which an elderly woman lives in an old rundown house in Appalachia. Her husband died in 1969 and she survived alone afterwards.

Search YT for "A new home for virgie"
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

Peter
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 7:31 am

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Peter » Sat May 27, 2017 12:02 am

Bangladesh was once considered as one of the happiest countries on the planet, so I think it's what you do with your life, not what you have that makes you happy

Malcolm
Posts: 924
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:42 am
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Malcolm » Sat May 27, 2017 7:30 am

Yes!
When I was ten, I thought my parents knew everything. When I became twenty, I was convinced they knew nothing. Then, at thirty, I realized I was right when I was ten.

Mark Twain

Joe de V
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Location: Northern California USA

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Joe de V » Sat May 27, 2017 6:57 pm

I have discovered that in my case Happiness is a "state of Mind" at any given period of time in your life. As a child I was happy with the opportunities i had to share good times with my similar-age friends. As for being poor it was a question of where you are at a given time in your life. Again as a child my parents did not own a home. We lived in a rented apartment but my brother and I shared one bed-room and we never went to bed hungry.we ate three meals a day and it they were prepared at home. I would identified my childhood as a Happy One.
After High School graduation In my adult working years I was able to secure satisfactory jobs for my skills at that moment in my life until the US military service called me to service during the Korean War.I spent close to 2 full years in South Korea as a member of the US Signal Corps and looking back at that time they were relatively free of personal conflicts during my duty as a Radio/Radar technician. I was fortuniate to have available the then US GI Bill for veterans that provide me with the opportunity to attend the University and I received my BA degree in 1958.
After the service I moved from New York to California and worked as the Dept of Mental Health as a Social Worker in Modesto state California.
These were good years to learn and educate my self as an accomplish member of a Mental Health Team. They were Happpy Years for me. I moved to the East Bay San Francisco Area where I became a Social Work Unit Supervisor in Oakland California. I married during these years and latter attended evening Law School in San Francisco. Again a good experience and happy years for a married person in the "middle class income earning area, so would not consider myself "poor" at that time.
I was happy as a volunteer for helping adults with learning basic skills like reading and writing that prepared them for better jobs in the local East Bay area community. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I heard from these adult students success in their new found jobs.That was a happy experience for me.Going back to the poor issue. Poor is also a relative term that could be well defined by a person own definition or classification of the term.
At present I do not consider myselef "poor" nor a "non-happy" person. I do own my home free and clear and have savings along with Retirement Income from my State of California Employment and Social Security. So at this stage in my life I am Not in the poor classification. I am happy with my Retirement life since I am active in musical groups as a player of Classical Guitar, Alto Recorder, and Baritone Ukulele, with three different Ensemble Groups.I am also a participant with the local Seniors Bowling League. My wife is a participant with the local dance group called the "Golden Follies" . We both keep our social activities at the local community level. Since we are not in the "Rich" Category I wold say that Yes indeed there is a good possibiity that you can be "NonRich and Happy" but only If you think and plan ahead to prepare your future by following good planned actions.

Pat Dodson
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Pat Dodson » Sat May 27, 2017 8:26 pm

As others have said, yes of course you can.
But there is a worrying side to that; the notion of the "noble poor". Let me ask a couple of daft questions.

As you can be poor and happy is it wrong to be poor and miserable?
And as you can be poor and happy, if the rich arranged to take a still larger share of wealth and resources would that be good for the poor?

PeteJ
Posts: 540
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by PeteJ » Sun May 28, 2017 12:30 pm

Joe de V wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:57 pm
I have discovered that in my case Happiness is a "state of Mind" ...
The Buddha suggests that it is the same for everyone. Hence it would be possible to be permanently happy by transcending the variability of mental states. At the limit being rich or poor would have nothing to do with it.

PeteJ
Posts: 540
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by PeteJ » Sun May 28, 2017 12:35 pm

Pat Dodson wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 8:26 pm
As others have said, yes of course you can.
But there is a worrying side to that; the notion of the "noble poor". Let me ask a couple of daft questions.

As you can be poor and happy is it wrong to be poor and miserable?
And as you can be poor and happy, if the rich arranged to take a still larger share of wealth and resources would that be good for the poor?
It is not wrong to be miserable, it is just miserable.
The question is not whether it would be good for the poor to make them poorer, but whether it would be good for the rich. It is said that Krishna deprives those he loves of everything, and this is suggestive of where true happiness lies. It lies in knowing one has everything one could ever need or want and that it can never be taken away. But this is taking us off into the the Land of Woo and not everybody will want to go.

Rasputin
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Rasputin » Sun May 28, 2017 5:43 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:09 pm
Rasputin wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 1:16 pm
So the key to happiness is to aim low??
Ever heard of the Peter principle: It states that the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate's performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence".

Think of the implications worldwide: all managers will reach their level of incompetence and are unhappy in their present position. They have all reached a level too high.
Is that something to do with Dilbert? I am not a huge fan but my guru Homer says trying is the first step to failure. Now that's wisdom 8)

alfaalex101
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 11:00 pm

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by alfaalex101 » Sun May 28, 2017 11:34 pm

Poor is extremely relative. Just when you think you are poor, you meet someone in a worse situation. I've found that money can bring more problems than solutions if it is not reinvested back into relationships (read: not guitars!) Some of the happiest people I've seen were on the poor side, however they had many friends.

Lawler
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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Lawler » Sun May 28, 2017 11:59 pm

alfaalex101 wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 11:34 pm
Poor is extremely relative.
I agree. Especially re how those that are financially poor see (or don't) others and their situations. It's not unlike the equity motivation principle in business management.

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 5:06 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Tue May 30, 2017 2:11 pm

"I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet."

glassynails
Posts: 5561
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by glassynails » Tue May 30, 2017 3:00 pm

I'm so poor I can't afford a $5000 classical guitar! ....
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

Joe de V
Posts: 1853
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:34 am
Location: Northern California USA

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Joe de V » Wed May 31, 2017 2:07 am

I should add that life has been good to me. looking back I recall staying all night - when I should have been sleeping - riding the NYC subway system as a refuge from the cold weather. Never had the chance to find accomodations - like a rented room - for a single barely 18 year old just a graduate from High School.Younger unattached people have a harder time in large metropolitan cities. By trial and imagination I was able after 5 weeks of search find a suitable place in Manhattan NY. that could not brake my weekly allowance for necessities like meals and transportation. The local Social Service agency was a helpful source for my good fortune in this case. I offered to refund money to them when I was in the military service but it was not a requirement of the agency.As an adult after college I became a Psychiaric Social Worker at a Mental Hospital In Modesto ,California.My own experience as a younger adult helped me appreciate the situations that some of the patients faced in their life. I owe to them my gratitude for their help in making me a more understanding individual. I am happy for those experiences in my life. Money has never a condition to affect my happy experiences.

mts132
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 7:51 pm
Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania USA

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by mts132 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:35 pm

It's much less likely if you're without resources.

Andrew Pohlman
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Can you be poor and happy?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:02 pm

There is lots of healthy thinking in this thread. Some of the strong themes are to count your blessings instead of worrying about what you don't have, and that money alone rarely makes people happy. Happiness takes something more. And along Maslow's lines, if you are too poor and have no basic needs met, like starvation and constant threats, it would be very difficult to be happy.

I don't think anyone has touched upon cultural influences though. In my freshman psychology class, our professor told a story about two women in their early 20's who had to care for a sick parent. One was very happy, the other very unhappy. The happy one was Chinese and fulfilling her role in the family. The other was an American being denied pursuit of her own goals. Neither is right or wrong, but are examples of how cultural influences can have an impact on happiness.

Back to the "money can't buy happiness" theme, if we define ourselves by acquisition of things, then we lose it all ... It's simple for me nowadays: the older I get, the more I find happiness in my family and friends. These relationships are what truly make me happy. And I play guitar for family and friends ! :D
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