When you Google ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, the famous song by Paul McCartney, first performed by the Beatles, way back in the sixties, 35 million references come up. That just shows how influential the Beatles still are today, some 5 decades down the track.
I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend,
If it makes you feel alright.
I’ll get you anything my friend,
If it makes you feel alright,
For I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love.
It would seem that the message is still relevant today, even here in Australia, as happiness and love go together and money cannot buy either. According to a survey about a decade ago of Federal Electorates (and not much has changed) Australia’s saddest electorate is in the heart of Sydney, the richest and most expensive city in the country, while the happiest voters live in one of the nation’s poorest rural electorates.
In a survey that turns the accepted political wisdom on its head, one of the most disadvantaged electorates in Australia, the Queensland seat of Wide Bay, has emerged as the one where people are at their most content.
Wide Bay, which takes in the coast of Hervey Bay and the World Heritage-Listed Fraser Island, has topped Australia’s 150 electorates on the basis of wellbeing and sense of community, according to the first electorate-based national index of wellbeing compiled by Deakin University.
In standard of living, health, achievement in life, personal relationships, sense of safety, connection to the community and future security, the index found Wide Bay came out on top – despite limping along at the bottom of other surveys that measure employment, income, education and economic strength.
Eight of the top nine happiest electorates are poor and isolated rural communities, while all of the saddest seats are metropolitan or outer metropolitan seats.
What does this tell us? That Paul McCartney got it right!! Money can’t buy love or happiness.
In my previous career as a touring musician with a musical family, The Marshes, we performed in some of the poorest and richest areas of the world, sometimes sleeping in African Villages on mud floors and other times in five star hotels – always connecting with the people of the area. Consistently we have found that the poorest of the poor are much happier than the richest of the rich.
Mother Teresa said it this way, “The curse of the third world is poverty, but the curse of the western world is loneliness and sadness.” Jesus summed it all up, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” The joy in our life comes from the quality of our relationships, not our money in the bank.
Over the last few decades there has been much talk about the work-family balance, and the need to get it right. In many ways the tension in the work family balance has got more to do with the tension about what should take ‘priority’ in our lives. Is it the ‘things’ that our work gives us the opportunity to acquire that are most important, or is it the love we give and receive and the quality of our relationships within our friends and family?
Recently one of the Good to Great course participants, after completing the Dads4Kids Good to Great Course, decided on a radical change of pace. He walked away from a big financial future as a self-employed Bespoke builder to take a wages job with a rival building company. Now he picks the kids up at 3PM after school and, according to his course facilitator, he has never been happier.
If you tell too many people that money can’t buy love, you might find yourself singing along with Billy Thorpe, ‘Some people I know think that I am crazy’!
Still I think that if I was a betting man I would be putting my money on Paul McCartney’s ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’.
Have some fun around the dinner table with your family as you sing along with the Beatles:
Say you don’t want no diamond ring and I’ll be satisfied.
Tell me that you want those kind of things
That money just can’t buy.
For I don’t care too much for money,
For money can’t buy me love.
Can’t buy me love, everybody tells me so,
Can’t buy me love, no, no, no, no.
You never know, if you sing it enough you just might start to believe it!
Yours for singing crazy songs