please help me revise my essay, especially The underlined portion is what the professor pointed out that it contained too much information, and needs to break it down into two sentences, so the information is presented in a clearer way.
?How to buy happiness?
?Can money buy happiness?? This has been a cliché question for centuries and there have
been numerous studies and debates on this topic. Yet, no one seems to have a definite answer. In
the video ?oney and Happiness?
, Michael Norton states explicitly that money does bring people
happiness if they spend it on other people (which is called prosocial spending) rather than on
themselves (which is called antisocial spending). Although his interesting and novel answer is
contrary to people?s natural instinct, it makes me reflect on my past experience of spending on
others and helps me understand the true benefits of this spending habit.
It is understandable that most people are more than willing to spend money on
themselves, either to buy necessities or to satisfy their personal desires, and I was one of those
people. Being the youngest child in my family, I was spoiled. My family members, especially
my grandfather, have always bought me whatever I desired without a blink of an eye. As a result,
I took their affection for granted and often spent money in a selfcentered way. There have been
numerous occasions when I squandered money on clothing and accessories simply to please
myself. It was not until my grandfather?s birthday a few years ago that I realized it is not just
spending, but spending on others that promotes true happiness.
On that day, I decided to buy something for my doting grandfather. So I went to the mall
and bought a few shirts and a birthday card for him. Those gifts were not costly, so I did not
expect much reaction from my grandfather. However, the moment I presented my gift and said
?Happy Birthday? to my grandfather, I noticed an unprecedented facial expression. The smile
that lightened his face at that moment was unforgettable, and the fact that he was so deeply
touched by my little gifts left a great imprint on my heart. Never before had it occurred to me
that spending money on another would not only make that person happy but also make myself
After watching Norton?s video, I finally found the reason for such happiness. In the video,
he describes how he used an experiment to confirm that the way a person spends his money
correlates with his level of happiness. ?
After running numerous similar experiments in different
parts of the world, he came to the conclusion that it does not matter how much you spend and
whether the money you spend on others was spent in a lofty or trivial manner, you still receive
the benefits of happiness. ?
Previously I thought the reasons why someone would choose to spend
money on another person were simply affection and a wish to make that person feel happy, but
Norton?s analysis gave me a different perspective on the relationship between spending habits
and levels of happiness. He presents his audience with a clear reality that the one who gives will
feel happier than the one who receives because there are many benefits to be derived from such
action, such as satisfaction, a sense of competence, a feeling of goodness, among others.
Since most of us focus too much on the momentary satisfactions we get from buying
material things for ourselves, it is necessary for us to realize that this spending habit will not
bring us true happiness. Through Norton?s analysis I have come to understand that spending
money on frivolous things to fulfill my inner desires is not worthwhile, since those things are
transient and superficial. I did feel happy and satisfied shortly after I had acquired them, but this
superficial sense of happiness does not remain but keeps fading away as time passes by.
According to Norton, we should stop thinking so much about what to buy for ourselves. Instead,
we should be thinking more about buying for others. I find this idea to be very true, since
observing how happy you make others feel by spending on them will actually make you feel
We are all familiar with the old phrase ?it is more blessed to give than to receive?, but
seldom do we pause and try to analyze the reasoning behind it. One analogy that can be used to
reinforce this point is cooking. For instance, I love to cook, not only because I love food, but also
because it is a personal and intimate thing I can do and share with the people I love. Eating and
sharing the product I made with others definitely makes me feel happier than eating it alone.
Similarly, prosocial spending promotes greater happiness by creating a bond that connects you
with other people. This unique and valuable emotion is something you cannot receive from
Certainly, my personal example supports Norton?s argument, but Norton fails to point out
some crucial factors of why prosocial spending is always beneficial. These factors include the
reaction of the receiver and the results of the action. In other words, we will not feel happy about
spending on others if the receivers do not appreciate our good intentions, but we will feel
satisfied if we see our generous actions make a difference to someone else. Therefore there are
some prerequisites for prosocial spending in order to make it a mutually beneficial experience.
I have always found it a puzzling paradox in our money driven society nowadays that
most people spend so much of their time trying to make more money in order to attain happiness,
but having more money does not seem to make them much happier. Although Norton?s
explanation is not comprehensive enough, it enables me to have a new and better understanding
of my past spending experience and helps me realize what the best and right way to spend money
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