It's a Lie: Survey Reveals Best Things in Life Far From Free

05/12/2011 01:15 pm ET | Updated Jul 12, 2011

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Gold Hill, Oregon -- Common wisdom says the best things in life are free, but according to Consumers' Favorites Magazine's annual survey of 100 of Life's Best Things, traditionally free items such as love, nature, wisdom, and family don't even appear on the list until after number 77. According to editor Matt Woodard, "The top five of life's best things, according to the over 10,000 consumers polled, are a new house, car, luxury vacation, shopping spree, and home entertainment system. In fact, none of the top 50 items on our list costs less than $5,000."

Woodard has a theory as to why what formerly were considered the best things in life -- have fallen so far down the list. "People have much shorter attention spans these days. So while they do enjoy and appreciate your so-called free things, they're easily bored and need constant stimulation, constant material possessions, constant purchases." Watching TV commercials doesn't help. "You watch TV commercials and all you see are people who are younger, healthier, and more attractive than you are, enjoying things you can't possibly afford -- and that makes you want those things -- and consider those things as the best."

Surprisingly, two of what mankind has usually thought of as priceless attainments -- "peace of mind," and "sense of fulfillment," appear on the list as numbers 88 and 93 respectively. "It saddens me somewhat to realize how materialistic our society has become," admitted Woodard. "On the other hand, it's great for my business, so the heck with peace of mind -- bring on the SUVs and yachts!"


Life, Possessions