Even with all the societal and technological advancements that our world has experienced till date, I’m convinced that it is less stressful to live today than a hundred years ago. I’m not sure that any generation before ours have suffered more pressure and tension than the people of the 2000s. Little wonder that the global average expectancy or mortality age is declining by the day. People die younger today not because we are a doomed generation but because we push ourselves to the brink. We have created an anti-progressive culture that is not able to clearly distinguish between what is a need and a want.
When the Nazi holocaust was happening, or world war II, I’m not sure that it mattered whether people had cars or six-digit paying job or vacation benefits. All of those paled into insignificance. It became clear that the real human need is first the basic things to support our lives like what to eat and drink and to be clothed with. Everything else is secondary and it takes a level of consciousness to arrive at this conclusion without that level of adversity. The people who live in the west in 2019 might not be able to come to this consciousness and I do not blame them — when you get used to privileges, it’s easy to muddle up priorities.
The thing is, our needs in fact, are the things just enough to support your life and keep body and soul together. Everything else are wants, period. Wants that are fanned by the tools of capitalism, the media, and popular culture. What you call your need is only informed oftentimes — food is a need, going abroad in the quest for greener pastures is not…..that one is informed. Putting a clothe over your body is a need but seeking an in-vogue bag is not.
You see, even Money isn’t an end in itself because you can’t eat or wear money or live inside….it is rather a means to an end. If you ever get a chance to experience hyperinflation, you will understand the powerlessness of money.
Just so you know, Maslow hierarchy of needs is a human invention — a true statement but not the absolute truth. Cavemen didn’t have that pressure of climbing up a kind of pyramid. They lived for each day. They weren’t paying mortgage for a house.
Am I discouraging industry and a sense of ambition? No. I’m only saying that today’s people must put things in the proper perspective. Nothing external at all, should be a qualifier for your next level of peace. We must understand that merchants of consumer goods are working overtime to manipulate and make us anxious all the time — telling us that our happiness can only be found in the next “thing” and we must not fall for the trap.
I’m saying that the true investment to pursue is not so much as grabbing more & more things as much as it is investing in more people because they are infact, our true assets. You’ve got to be grateful for your priority needs – food, water and the clothes over your body. And that gratitude changes everything.