Happiness first, money second

From the Edmonton Sun:

But we need to pick ourselves up off the floor, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and do something that’ll genuinely make us happy, says U.S. psychology professor and author Tim Kasser.

Materialism doesn’t bring happiness, he warns. Instead, he urges people to tune out as much advertising as possible so as to resist the urge for retail therapy.

“If you want to shift your value system, it’s going to be extremely difficult to do in a context of watching TV four hours a day and being exposed to all of those messages which tempt you,” says Kasser, a professor at Knox College in Illinois.

Buying into the consumer culture, both literally and figuratively, doesn’t satisfy people’s psychological needs and that’s why people who place an unseemly value on money are unhappy, no matter how many possessions they’ve amassed, he says.