Our degraded human value system

“How’s it possible that humans always have money for killing and for exploitation, but struggle to find resources for good causes?” Joy asked.

It seemed illogical and unjust. The human value system was upside down. Caring professions that in the past were deemed valuable – like nursing and teaching – were now taken for granted and were superseded by high-paying but near socially irrelevant career activities like playing football, singing pop songs and selling derivatives on the stock markets.

This degraded value system was being held in place by two major illusions: that the more money a person has, the more esteemed they are – no matter how they acquire their fortune; and that people who work for good causes should earn only a basic salary – hence the term not-for-profit. Joy felt the urge to shatter these myths that were keeping the masses imprisoned by materialism, the power-hungry in positions of control and those motivated by the will to do good financially disempowered.

“It’s not just about people in positions of power making the right decisions,” remarked Gino, who always viewed the base of the global population pyramid to be as critical to human transformation as the more exclusive tip of power-sharing elites. “Normal people need to take more responsibility for human action and find value in simplicity and sustainability.” He was pensive. “The first thing they have to do is to start seeing through the media images that have locked them in a world of useless aspirations.”

Gino’s words made Joy think back to a holiday they had enjoyed in Tuscany. Sitting in a café in one of the piazzas in Florence, they had watched people walk by clad in the latest designer outfits and jewelled accessories. Joy had an eye for aesthetics and appreciated the visual beauty of forms and appearances. All the same, she remembered thinking: I wonder if they’d still know who they were if they had to give up everything they possess.

“Possessions aren’t the problem of course,” echoed Gino, seemingly picking up on her thoughts. “It’s the attachment to them that so easily develops.”

“The attachment of having and the never-ending desire to have,” replied Joy. “The test, I suppose, is to be able to have and not have without any sense of neediness.”

Excerpt from “My Name is Joy”.

6 thoughts on “Our degraded human value system

  1. Pertinent questions. Wonder why? Consumerism, Capitalism, emphasis on brands and gadgets. The bling factor to impress people. People getting attracted to money power and the urge to accumulate wealth. Instead of acquiring knowledge and the will to be more humane, today, we see so much superficiality. Simplicity is looked down upon. In relationships, one in made to feel inadequate because one cannot afford a certain kind of lifestyle. Comparisons and trying to emulate others is adopted. Most importantly, without realizing the fact, that we are degrading our thoughts and questioning our very ethics of existence. Wonderful and very important questions you have raised. Love and greetings, Amitav. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Amitav, for your extra perspectives on this post. I find it very challenging to socialize with people who are wrapped up in the superficial, ego-centred mind set. For this reason, I often prefer my own company – “being alone”, which is not the same as being lonely, as you yourself wrote in one of your recent posts. Whenever I hear somebody is rich and can afford all sorts of items well out of reach of the majority of Earth’s citizens, rather than being immediately “impressed”, I ask myself “how” that person made their money. Was it in an ethical, caring way, which was supportive of fellow human beings, the environment and the animals? If yes, then I would certainly be very interested in hearing their story because money can be an amazing tool. I would love to have more of it to be able to offer financial support to good causes. Love & warm greetings, Sam 🙂

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      • You seem to have read my mind, Sam. Exactly my thoughts. Being alone is much preferable than showing off to the world with superficiality. It may suit them perfectly and their lifestyle, but not mine. I cannot belong just for the sake of it. Yes, supporting good causes with ethically earned money, without losing sleep over it and running the death-race, of course. 🙂 I prefer going to bed with a clear conscience and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Above all, when you step out of this razzmatazz, you start seeing life from a positive perspective and find meaning in it. Wonderful to have read your perspective on this. Love and warm wishes, always, Amitav.

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      • I really enjoy our exchanges, Amitav, because although we have very similar outlooks, you offer me the chance to get feedback from a “male” and “Eastern” perspective. I can only write from the point of view of a “woman”, who was brought up in a “Western” culture; for this reason when I write I frequently use phrases like “in the West” and “Western”. Therefore, I find it very interesting to hear from you, for example, that the lifestyle and existential issues I described in this post affect people in the same way in your neck of the Earth’s woods. Love and warm wishes, always, Sam 🙂

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  2. Thank you so much, Sam. I try to register and analyze the changes (positive/negative) which transform the thoughts, societal system, lifestyle, relationships between men and women, child psychology, parenting, our knowledge about life and Eastern philosophies we have had. Mostly, I observe and learn and of course, daily interactions. Change is inevitable, but a shift toward a certain thought; how media and other influences feed those changes and en masse they are adopted, without giving a thought about the consequences. Eastern philosophy and other ancient philosophies which have existed in this part of the continent have a very profound and holistic approach toward life, which followed, can lead to a fulfilling life. Most importantly, I question myself and the changes that are taking place and its impact on our mind, body, consciousness and the deviation from the philosophies. I feel life is a very deep philosophy and a great teacher, and if we can absorb the teachings, we can learn from the previous mistakes, even take a path which is more fulfilling and with a purpose. Increasing intolerance, anger, degradation of relationships and their values are a cause of concern. If we are attracting negative vibes and our actions are causing a negative impact in our lives, it is a sign that we are faltering. I find the dynamics of relationships have changed so much. There is no respect for the partner (relevant for both male and female) which leads to dysfunctional families, which of course, affects the impressionable minds of the children. So, another generation grows up with the same apprehensions and insecurities.
    Life is the subject of ongoing discussion and has many dimensions to it. I have made a very long comment. 🙂 Thank you, Sam, for listening to me and I am happy that I learn from your writings that reflect deep philosophies. I really hope, you keep writing and continue to be an inspiration. You have delved deeper into the meaning of life. Love and warm wishes for the beautiful soul. 🙂 Amitav.

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