Rich or happy?

“Would you rather be rich or would you rather be happy?”

That was a question posed by a speaker at the Statistical Appreciation Seminar for Media Practitioners conducted by the National Statistical Coordination Board on September 21.

Several participants said “both.” My reply was “rich.”

I unabashedly answered “rich” because wealth is quite easy to measure. Happiness isn’t.

Even the speaker acknowledged the difficulty of measuring “happiness” when she talked about the “Philippine Happiness Index.” As she said: “the computation of happiness starts from the point of view of the individual.” Therefore, it’s relative.

Of course there are many ways to measure happiness, as explained by the speaker. But given two options (in this case, rich or happy), I would always go for the one that’s harder to dispute. I mean, if you’re rich, then you’re rich. It’s either you have a million dollars or you don’t.

Anyone can claim that he or she is happy. But deep down inside, he or she may be terribly lonely.

So, would you rather be rich or would you rather be happy?

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