A tale tells about a single father with many children. It's Christmas and they have nothing to eat. A neighbor feels pity for the father and offers help. He can bring them food and take care of one of the children, is willing to pay for its needs and education. This way it can help the father to provide in the needs of itself and the siblings. The father refuses. According to him, it's better to be poor and die for hunger together instead of accepting the generous offer, study hard, and find a job. The story ends with a neighbor leaving while the father and his children sit in the cold at an empty table and sing a song.
I have no clue who made up this story, what the "wise" lesson taught is but to many in the same situation this neighbor, showing up on Christmas Eve, would be welcomed and seen as an angel sent by god. Instead, we are confronted with a father who rather prefers his children to die instead of accepting a helping hand, a way out of the misery he can not deal with alone.
Does money make happiness or is it better to be poor?
There are idioms, songs, and plenty of tales claiming the best life is living in poverty. In reality, being poor is not romantic. Neither is being rejected or neglected because of your lack of health, education, not being able to buy the right clothes or shoes, a study, to afford a doctor or pay for the rent of a house.
Expressions like: It's better to be poor than sick, do not make any sense. Sick is not the opposite of poor but rich is. In real life, there are way more poor people sick than wealthy ones. It might be that extremely rich people are bored and do not know what to do with their money but it's not said poverty and boredom don't go hand in hand. If you are poor, jobless, you would love to have a tv to kill time or a day out to the Zoo or an attraction park.
Do we really believe only poverty can bring us real happiness?
To find the answer we only need to ask those who are needy. The ones who have sleepless nights because they cannot pay off their debts and have hardly anything to eat. Those who see their children die in front of their eyes. Children they brought into this world, are responsible for and are not able to offer a meal a day and a roof above their head.
Ask those elderly who worked their entire life and end up in a room alone or live on the street begging for some money. Do they feel happy and enlightened?
The only reason why we say it is better to be poor is to make ourselves feel less miserable.
We try to fool ourselves and hope our mind buys it. The opposite is true. We know exactly it stinks to be poor and it eats us if we are seen as a loser. We want what others have, the rich(er) ones not the bunch of other losers we are surrounded by. We want a house, car, computer, go on vacation, have a partner who loves us, and is successful. All things which we can buy if you have money.
People with money, those with savings, feel more secure. They know they can survive a bad time (like losing a job or paying for an unexpected high hospital bill) it gives them peace of mind and if you really want to feel happy start counting money. According to some scientists, it even helps if it isn't our own.