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I = S - M

The modern way of thinking about economics has been I = M - S Where I is the I as in me, M is what is 'mine' and S is what ...

12/26/14

Letter to a young man

You have written to me asking for guidance. I do not have guidance for you. All I can provide is inspiration. Once you are inspired you will know what to do. Just follow your own intuition.

The problem of looking upon me as an expert in Gandhian economics is this: then every word I say means more than every word that you say, that every thought I have of what you should do outweighs every thought that you have of what you should do.

In that case the world does not change. Every generation has to come up with its own new ideas of how to do things. Otherwise everything, including Gandhian economics, becomes sterile repetition. When you consider that such sterile repetition, such brain-washing in the name of education has brought the world to the crisis it is in now, you will forgive me for not 'guiding' you. Perhaps one day, and that is my hope, you will thank me for not 'guiding' you.

What does it take to be inspired to take action? Do you see what is happening in the world? I am not talking about what is happening far away in some distant, perhaps exotic land, often described as 'colorful'? Just look around you. How do people treat each other? Do they value each other, do they treat each other with respect? How do they treat the animals, the earth? Is it not a crying shame? Can you stand it or do you feel like you want to tear your hair out and scream at the top of your lungs?

When you feel the injustice of the world around you, feel the ridiculous respect given to pure greed in the name of sophisticated-sounding but vacuous terms like self-interest and the extolling of maximizing, of profit, of income, of grades, of self over and above others, you are inspired to change the world.

But the first step is to change your self. As Gandhiji said, "Be the change you wish to see."

I wish you great inspiration.

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