Sunday, May 11, 2014

Infinite growth and family honour

We really need to question the ethic of infinite growth in material wealth, when applied to families, legacy and honour. If Dhirubai Ambani's sons had been a couple of "lazy bums" who had no interest in taking their father's empire forward; if Mukesh and Anil were just content to live off the multiple lifetimes of riches they'd inherited, then India wouldn't be in the mess she is in right now. This "dharma" of taking forward your father's "samraajya", protecting his legacy, and multiplying already good-enough wealth at all costs, is causing immense harm to everyone. There are other ways of growing after the material aspect has been done : spiritual, logical, empathic. Heck, even if a silver spoon son gets wasted on booze n drugs etc, he's still doing the world a favor by internalizing the destruction rather than externalizing it, but look how we'd treat him.

Look up the life work of John Robbins and Foster Gamble to see how much more they've given to the world by walking away from their parents' business empires and using their inheritance for the good of the planet. Simple living is a lot more honourable than being a "badaa aadmi". So to all well-off parents, please avoid pushing your kids into becoming planet-rapers. Our current benchmarks of ethics and family honour are seriously messed up.

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