I asked my girlfriend, “How would you define a good quality of life?” She replied; my husband should be rich and famous and we should have a high social status. We should have two school going kids, a boy and a girl, studying in the best educational institute. We should be able to eat at the best restaurants and go to 2 international vacations every year. The list went on and on and on. I requested her to give a shorter answer. She said, “I would want a loving and a caring husband with abundance all around.”
Now, this is a life that everyone wants and can be considered as a good quality of life. You should be able to get whatever you wish to have, be it safe drinking water or organic food. To fulfil these demands, however, you need money.
Here, I would like to share 2 philosophies about the “Quality of Life”, one, defined under the present context of the monetary economy and other, defined as the resource-based economy. Let’s first have a look at the monetary economy philosophy.
Our basic needs as human beings are food, clothing, and shelter. Each of these things has a monetary value attached to it. In a monetary economy, you need to earn money from others by selling some products or services, which they may or may not buy. You need to work and get remunerated with the exchange value of your work. If your daily/monthly earning is insufficient to buy you a house, you need to store money in the form of fiat currency. You will accumulate it until you reach a level where the exchange value of your currency matches that of the house.
Once a person or a family reaches a level where his income is sufficient to meet all these generic demands of life, he/she can be considered to be having a good quality of life. Great, Kudos. When will you reach that level, at 25 or 30 or 50 years of age? Till that time is your quality of life bad?
Also, what if you are not able to work say after the age of 60? You then need to accumulate funds for your retirement, as well. Now the question arises how much funds would you require? How long will you and your spouse live after retirement? Maybe till you are 70, 80 or 90. Will your accumulated amount suffice?
Also, the future is unpredictable in terms of cost of living, medical and other expenditure post-retirement. There is an interest component in investments and returns along with inflation which has to be considered also.
So whatever you are earning might seem insufficient and hence you have to continue working hard to accumulate money for the sake of a better tomorrow. Now I understood why human beings are greedy. They have to keep on accumulating money as the future is uncertain and unpredictable.
The second philosophy is known as the resource-based economy. You may buy 5 acres of barren land and start sowing seeds and plant food according to your requirement. This 5-acre land is sufficient for living a good quality of life with organic food, rainwater harvesting, solar energy, and wood-fired heat energy for cooking. It is a simple philosophy, not dependent on the behaviour of others.
It is your choice whether you want to opt for the monetary economy or a resource-based economy.
– Article by Sultan Charania