I’ve thought much the same thing for many years, that I fairly rich compared to most of the rest of humanity.

But (you saw the ‘but’ coming, didn’t you?)…

…which is better: wealth or happiness? I spend a great deal of time in the Philippines (we have a house there, and I rarely go to the rich touristy areas and am usually the only white guy for miles in any direction), and I know quite a few who Americans would consider to be dirt poor. But the thing is, most of the Filipinos I know there (including among those who are squatters) are generally happier than most Americans.

It’s said that wealth can’t buy happiness, but it sure helps…but I’m not so sure about the veracity of that claim. I’d say that happiness has much more to do with gratitude, the ability to be grateful for one’s blessings. After all, didn’t Cicero point out that gratitude is the greatest of all virtues, and the parent of all the other virtues? If you’ll think about it, without gratitude, none of the other virtues are sincere. The poor Filipinos are more grateful for even the little things they have, and so they are generally happier.

Please read about how I came to that realization here.

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.