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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 ...

4/1/16

Thoughtfulness is how I define the standard of living. A group of people with plenty of material possessions but no thought for others is a group with a very low standard of living. On the other hand, a group of people with very little in terms of material possessions but great thoughtfulness towards each other is undoubtedly a group with a high standard of living. Kumarappa writes

We must bear in mind that the true test of civilization is not our material possessions or our manner or mode of life but the thought we bestow on the well-being of others. *

And what exactly creates well-being? It is certainly not the so-called consumption championed by modern economics. Consumption is a one-way street. It is a using up of resources. It is the least mindful and most thoughtless of actions. Well-being is created by a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, a sense or responsibility and a spiritual understanding that we are One.

When we gauge our own lives or assess the life of our society we may confidently use the yardstick of thoughtfulness to measure the standard of living.

* Why the Village Movement by J. C. Kumarappa 1949 page 3. 

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