Can money buy happiness?

Eminem appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman: a few weeks ago, and read the “Top Ten Pieces of Advice for the Kids.” No. 3 was, “Money doesn’t buy happiness … it buys crazy happiness.”

This week, while driving to Logan to speak to a group of girls, I turned on the radio and was sickened to hear news of the latest celebrity meltdown. I literally felt the blood drain from my face as the DJ played a clip from the latest Mel Gibson tape in which he screams horrible and unrepeatable things at his ex-girlfriend. And this coming from a man who produced and directed “The Passion of the Christ.”

Then there’s Lindsay Lohan, a former Disney star who is expected to go to jail for 90 days because she broke the terms of her parole for drinking while on probation. I’ve seen pictures of her crying in court looking like she has absolutely hit rock bottom.

What happened to these people? How in the world can someone who seemingly has “everything” completely fall apart?

I think about how some of the biggest stars of all time have sadly led relatively short — and lonely — lives. It’s as if the the pursuit of hapiness, what they thought was happiness, ended up destroying them in the end: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson. The most idolized Hollywood and music icons in American history, all gone much too soon.

Were fame and fortune not enough?

It’s so ironic how these stars can easily command the attention of everyone in the room, make complete strangers and fans from all over the world fall in love with them, but can’t sustain a healthy relationship with a partner — or themselves.

So what’s left? They turn to mind-numbing addictions, such as drugs and alcohol to escape the pain.

We look at celebrities and think they must have everything, yet it still doesn’t seem to be enough.

What are the things that truly make one happy?

I believe human beings need each other. The acceptance of fans from far away doesn’t compare to the love of a partner, a companion, a true friend.

Family and faith are two pieces of a puzzle that cannot be replaced by the other two “F” words: fame and fortune. But the illusion of happiness will still be pursued, craved and sought after. It’s the world’s biggest lie that “money buys happiness.”

Why do you think people set their hearts on things that will ultimately let them down? What brings you true happiness? Have you learned the hard way about what’s most important in this life?

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