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Don't worry, be happy - but how?

Reader’s dad always said he could be really happy if he could earn a little extra money.


EAR HARRY: I'm a commuting senior at a local college. My middle-class family lives in Northeast Philly. My dad is an automobile mechanic for a large auto dealer. All my life, I have heard him moaning about how he could be a really happy man if he could earn a "few extra bucks." He worked most Saturdays, but was always a few bucks short. He envied some of more successful friends. He never seemed to be able to turn the corner. I think this is a common thing that is not going to be solved unless he earns a lot more money. What does my "old Uncle Harry" think?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Part of this depends on how you define happiness. Some call it an abundance of joy. Others say it's a state of well-being or positive emotions. There are many more definitions. Recent surveys have shown that only about half of those surveyed think that they will be happier with more money. Almost 90 percent say they will gain happiness with family game nights. And an almost equal percentage would use any extra money to buy happiness for a lavish, once-in-a-lifetime splurge: a dream vacation, a super luxury car. There are those who say that you can create your own happiness merely by "bringing it with you." I still remember my oldest sister's statement that those who say "money can't buy happiness are shopping in the wrong stores."

Email Harry Gross at, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-Red Cross.