Does money buy happiness?
Does money buy happiness?Not.Ah,but would a little more money make us a little happier?Many of us smirk1) and nod.There is,we believe,some connection between fiscal2) fitness and feeling fantastic.Most of us would say that,yes,we would like to be rich.Three in four American collegians now consider it “very important” or “essential” that they become “very well off financially.” Money matters.
Well,are rich people happier?Researchers have found that in poor countries,such as Bangladesh,being relatively1 well off does make for greater well-being.We need food,rest,shelter and social contact.
But a surprising fact of life is that in countries where nearly everyone can afford life’s necessities,increasing affluence2 matters surprisingly little.The correlation3 between income and happiness is “surprisingly weak,” observed University of Michigan researcher Ronald Inglehart in one 16-nation study of 170,000people.Once comfortable,more money provides diminishing returns.The second piece of pie,or the second $100,000,never tastes as good as the first.
Even lottery3 winners and the Forbes’ 100wealthiest Americans have expressed only slightly greater happiness than the average American.Making it big4) brings temporary joy.But in the long run wealth is like health:its utter absence can breed misery,but having it doesn’t guarantee happiness.Happiness seems less a matter of getting what we want than of wanting what we have.
Has our happiness floated upward with the rising economic tide?Are we happier today than in 1940,when two out of five homes lacked a shower or tub?When heat often meant feeding wood or coal into a furnace?When 35percent of homes had no toilet?
Actually,we are not.Since 1957,the number of Americans who say they are “very happy” has declined from 35to 32percent.Meanwhile,the divorce rate has doubled,the teen suicide rate has nearly tripled5),the violent crime rate has nearly quadrupled6)(even after the recent decline),and more people than ever(especially teens and young adults)are depressed4
I call this soaring wealth and shrinking spirit “the American paradox7).”More than ever,we have big houses and broken homes,high incomes and low morale,secured rights and diminished civility.We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life.We celebrate our prosperity but yearn8) for purpose.We cherish our freedoms but long for connection.In an age of plenty,we feel spiritual hunger.
1 relatively   [ˈrelətɪvli]    
The rabbit is a relatively recent introduction in Australia.兔子是相对较新引入澳大利亚的物种。
The operation was relatively painless.手术相对来说不痛。
2 affluence   ['æflʊəns]  
Their affluence is more apparent than real.他们的富有是虚有其表。
There is a lot of affluence in this part of the state because it has many businesses.这个州的这一部分相当富有,因为它有很多商行。
3 correlation   [ˌkɒrəˈleɪʃn]    
The second group of measurements had a high correlation with the first.第二组测量数据与第一组高度相关。
A high correlation exists in America between education and economic position.教育和经济地位在美国有极密切的关系。
4 depressed   [dɪˈprest]  
When he was depressed,he felt utterly divorced from reality.他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
His mother was depressed by the sad news.这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。

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该日志由 1zanxin 于2016年12月13日发表在 双语阅读 分类下,
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