February 18, 2014

Get-rich-quick cannot be our national solution

We all yearn to be well-off for having a comfortable life. In the past this was achieved through time and toil. Now there is a major shift towards getting rich fast. This is a necessary consequence of the industrial revolution where the prevailing ethos was production without conscience -- with no thought as to whether there was a social necessity for all that production. Proponents would argue that the more that is produced the more the have-nots will have. Opponents would argue that it is not true -- the trickle-down theory is not valid; and the industrialists' concern remains the bottom line. At the end of the day the motive is to have the maximum income.

Thus in this rush for production and wealth generation through the market mechanism that panders to the ego of the human being, we lose sight of the old adage "necessity is the mother of invention" perhaps this has its vestiges still relevant but with the invention of the capitalist model it has always been about maximizing profit and getting rich quickly -- by selling the products to those who don't really need these. The marketing profession has made it their perfected art to sell to the gullible customer, by the sweetness of their marketing jargon and images, what we don’t need. We witness this everyday on television, on bill boards and social events and now splashed too on social media. Who really needs the killer cigarettes or the expensive coffees and cars or the designer clothes?  What would happen to us if we don't have them? Certainly we will be healthier in mind and body! But the ego within us doesn't listen to that. It makes us believe that the competitive spirit within us is legitimate and good for us. With such an inflated false-self dominating us, the little voice inside us of the primeval conscience we were born with has the "chance of a snowball in hell", which means absolutely no chance at all!
So the advert on television wins our hearts. We want to be the Marlboro man or take that exotic trip on the Camel to our death. How foolish we are is realized only too late when death and destruction meet us in the end.

So this desire to get rich for the wrong purpose is the source of the evil that we see in our world. It has made us upset the benevolent equilibrium Providence has bestowed on us for living our lives in harmony and we are seeking to blindly find our balance again but not finding it in this turbulent sea of materialism, selfishness and greed. We yearn to get rich quick and then hope to live the rest of our lives in hedonism. What is then the future of the next generation?  Will we give it space for it to grow in sustainable ways or will we strengthen our selfish vantage further? If we seek to go on with abandon along this our chosen path, should we not feel the piercing guilt of betraying the trust we assume from our unborn children by our decision to have borrowed this moment from them, to create mischief on earth?

Our nation Maldives has been thrust into this tumult headlong, and as a small nation of people these new ideals catch on like wild fire and it will burn our house down only too fast to be aware of what is happening. That sinister process is happening even as we sit ensconced in our momentary luxury and social inebriation to these vibrations that are growing. 

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