The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity
- "The Principal Doctrines" #15, Epicurus
Those who know me enough know that I am by no means a follower of politics, but this morning I found a post on facebook shared by two of my friends. I normally wouldn't care to watch a political speech or anything related to politics that is about politics. For a person like me indifferent to the drama of political games, there's just too much going on to begin with that I feel I don't have a place in. However, this speech made by Mr.Mujica during the Rio+20, United Nation's Conference on Sustainable Development in June of 2012 is something to think about because it's a problem that lies within our daily lives. In an elegantly frank manner, he also points to the problem of the language of politics. If speech by politicians are done to veer around problems in a seemingly operose way, I really have no time or interest to follow that kind of bullshit.
To summarize, though very flatly in my words, Mr.Mujica points out very bluntly that the root of environmental problems as well as the well-being of our lives is being viciously--and literally-consumed by the market and our need to continuously keep the system going by means of producing and consuming. He quotes the earliest philosophers like Epicurus to state that a poor man is not one who has little, but who infinitely needs more, more, more and more and that our prime goal as humans should be to create a way of development that creates happiness instead of going against it.
If you happen to be making a move to a new home or even just cleaning out your home, please take a look at what you throw away and look around to see what you can't live without. If you are planning to buy something or happen to be standing in a market to get something, please take a moment to question if you really need it. As much as I can, I try to be aware of what I spend my money and energy on, but I must admit that I'm still in training. And with all the non-material consumption that is involved with our interaction with the internet via smartphones and computers on a daily basis, nearly invisible products that go by the name of information, space and speed is also a big part of the wheel of consumerism that churns the vicious whirlpool of production and consumption.
Speaking of moving, a month ago when I discovered that my new apartment is way smaller than the previous, I was forced to decide what I really need in order to sustain my life and either throw or give away such items as listed below:
Below is Mr.Mujica's speech for your interest. The subtitles in English is a tad slow, so please be patient.
Here is the whole English speech in text:
For Japanese readers, please check out this article written by Akira Uchimura: