I was thinking today about the differences between the economics of Buddhism and those of a materialistic country such as the United States.
For one thing we don’t always consider the long term affects of our actions, especially when it comes to making a profit. Work for the average American is not something they enjoy doing, it is something they feel they have to do.
And sucess is often measured by how far up the corprate ladder one can move. It is also measured by the size of our home, the kind of car that we drive, the number of toys that we have, and so on.
We are judged more by what we have than by who we are. And we seem to be always wanting more, or envying those who have what we want.
In the process we seem to have lost sight of what is really important in life. We seem to judge things by their monetary value and to view our neighbors more as competitors then as friends. Developers are usually blind to the intrinsic beauty of the land, and see instead what they can use it for, and always with profit in mind.
The economics of Buddhism is quite different from ours. For one thing they consider the good of the community over individual gain. Work for the Buddhist is supposed to be joyful and fulfilling, not stressful and negative.
It is a part of their spiritual path. The economy of Buddhisim is not about material things; it is not based on greed or profit. Nature is respected in this type of economy, and a Buddhist does not take or use more than is needed.
In the Buddhist economy the whole picture is looked at, in the type of economy we exsist in this doesn’t happen. We will destroy a whole forest in order to use a small part, as long as it’s profitable. We don’t care about the whole picture.
The Buddhist economy is a peaceful labor of doing, for the good of all. It is an economy, which looks out for all its members rather than a few. Neighbors, in this type or an economy are friends, rather than competitors.
I think one could say that in a Buddhist economy, less is more. And that profit lies not in the material world but in the spiritual one. In seems to me, that in a materialistic world, such as the one we live in, there is little room for spirituality, how can there be, when the ultimate goal is not of the heart, but of the pocket book.