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Currency Of Civilization

I have long held on to the belief that the purpose of life is not to earn money. Money was invented to facilitate transactions. Unfortunately it has become a measure of success. I am not against someone making millions, but the purpose of life is more than that. The following sentence has been nagging me for months and I have been trying to put my thoughts into words with little success.

Knowledge should be the currency of a matured, intelligent civilization.

Chasing wealth is a never-ending quest; some will do it till they die, and some will give up and start enjoying their life. Invention of Zero has made it possible for us to comprehend how little wealth we have. Is it possible to measure what you have with something that can’t be measured? Isn’t that we are trying to do when we try to increase our net worth?

Quality of life can’t be quantified, even if statisticians would disagree. They might throw numbers at you that shows more money means more happiness, but there are other numbers which says people in poor countries are much happier that their rich neighbors. How will they quantify the quality of life of Mahatma Gandhi, (my favorite example) a man who earned nothing, who made no personal fortune, wore no footwear and died at gunpoint. In my opinion, there are very few who lived such a rich life and achieved so much.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 

My learnt MBA graduates might be able to give a better picture based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but are they able to reach the top of the need pyramid? Most of us are likely to be stuck at the 3rd stage (Love and Belonging) trying to reach the next with very little success. Very few achieve or even try to achieve their Self-Actualization needs.

With my limited understanding of the Need Hierarchy,  I would venture a guess that Self-Actualization needs are not what you want for yourself, but what you gain by helping others get what they want/need.

Knowledge is not just Mathematics,  Science, Arts or Literature. Every thought that passes through your mind is knowledge. The awareness that you are (I think, therefore I am) alive, intelligent and part of a society that builds on the knowledge shared by its predecessors is in itself a knowledge. Why do we hide these great riches inside our mind and try to grab some soiled pieces of paper?

I have accepted the fact that most of what I wish for is not practical and this seems to fall into the same category.

As I said, I haven’t had much success putting these thoughts into words, but in order to move on with my life, I had to post what I had in mind. I will revisit this post at a later point in my life when I have more clarity. If you think you can add something to what I have said, do let me know. Since this is a work in progress, any arguments you have will help me too.

In parting, “There are some many things money can’t buy. For everything else, use your credit card.”

About Sunil J

I write ideas that strike me, sometimes just to remember them later, and just once in a while, you might find something useful. :-)

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2 comments

  1. What you are saying is right – more money is not equal to more happiness. Thats what people believe when they get caught in the mad rush of making more and more money. By the time they regain their senses, they are already addicted!

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