The Jason’s Guide to Happiness

Every so often the media like to post stories about the growing income inequality gap. A number of Facebook contacts have shared such articles and often commented on them. More often than not those comments are soapbox speeches about the unfairness of it all. Well, if you don’t already know, life isn’t fair. Not everyone will be rich. Not everyone will have a seven-or-more-figure net worth. Not everyone is going to live the life of luxury. Get over it.

We are about 12 percent above the Federal poverty level (2014 guideline). This may make some wonder why I’m not bothered by the income gap. In essence, my happiness is not based upon the financial situation of others. My company’s president recently sold about twenty-thousand shares of his stock, a transaction worth over eight-hundred-thousand dollars. That’s more than twenty times what I make. So what! Who cares? I sure as heck don’t. I’m happy in my life, and money is nothing more than a way to provide for the necessities of life.

I guess I’m lucky that I’m not attracted to the popular culture. Perhaps that’s because of my conservative nature. After all, they say liberals have won the popular culture. Good for them. Because the popular culture has no pull on me. I don’t care about what celebrities are saying, doing, wearing. I have no need to go see the latest movie, watch the big television shows, and most importantly, I don’t feel any desire to have the latest must-have material goods. Who says they’re must-haves, must-watches, must-reads, anyway? The popular culture. What do they know?

Instead of following the crowd like the popular culture herd, I decided long ago to do my own thing. Now, am I 100-percent completely happy in absolutely everything? No, I need to work on that. I don’t really feel fulfilled at work. But that has nothing to do with money. I’d gladly take a lower-paying job and work a part-time position to fill in the gap if the opportunity were there. I’m working on that. Until then, I’ll just do the best I can and plow through it. My job simply provides an income to pay the necessities, save a little for retirement, and allow me to pursue that which does fulfill me within my means.

And what does fulfill me? This is the fifth year I’m coaching youth basketball. I love doing it and hope to continue to coach as long as I can. Writing this blog has been a joy, and it’s gotten me back in to writing in general, which is something I’d love to do for a living. And, most importantly, I am fulfilled spending time with my wife and children. They are worth more than any amount of money.

I love to be entertained, too. I’m a geek for superhero movies, fantasy literature, science fiction, etc. But I think we’d all do well to turn off the cacophony of the popular culture. They popular media like to entertain and provide pleasure. But pleasure is no substitute for happiness. Find what really and truly fulfills you and makes you happy. And then the jealousy which inflames anger and hatred between groups will melt away. And then we can all be happier.

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