Happiness is a vital emotion for any human being. The state of happiness has no comparison as it is special in a way that is hard to describe yet simple and satisfactory.
Happiness is achieved through various means. For example, being with family, receiving an award, or completing a hard task can all bring people the feeling of happiness. Happiness can even be achieved by two complete strangers just sharing a smile.
We all search for happiness, but in today’s society of “things,” does accumulating possessions make people happier? The famous quote “money can’t buy happiness” comes to mind, though in today’s society, those well off seem happier.
Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato all had different takes on whether accumulation of possessions makes people happier.
Christopher Kahl, an undergraduate history major, states that possessions do not inherently make people happier but acquiring them does bring a sense of joy. He gives the example of a family in search of a house wanting to start up a home.
Sara Baranczyk, an undergraduate double major in physics education and communication, arts and literature education, states that it depends on what the possessions are. She says that people want to gain more in life as they grow older or attain a given status influences their need for more possessions thus making them happier in a sense.
Troy Garland, an undergraduate pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies, also says it depends on the possessions and the people one chooses to share their possessions with.
Jamie Nelson, an undergraduate film and media studies major, had a completely different idea. She states that, in her perspective, possessions bring the least amount of happiness, making people feel trapped, because the more they have the more it weighs them down. She states that society plays a huge role in dictating how people accumulate possessions, because the motive today is for people to just keep buying and piling things up, oftentimes hardly using any of the majority of the possessions they own.
Adam Anderson, an undergraduate pursuing a degree in law enforcement, states that possessions hardly make people happy and bases his argument on upbringing. He says that if one had grown up with massive amounts of possessions, then they would only be satisfied if they have the same when they come of age. He argues that it’s the same case if one grew up with a small portion of possessions; they can be pleased with little.
Society does in fact have a significant role in shaping the behaviors of people. Most of the time, people want more because others are in pursuit of the same, without clear knowledge of how having more would benefit them.
In my perspective, happiness is achieved by being with the people one holds close to their heart—the individuals that bring out the best in you through times of trial and joy. Happiness is never achieved through accumulation of possessions because they come and go in a flash.
Being happy does not come from accumulating possessions, but rather from truly appreciating what one has.