Question: It is common to take a loan from a bank and then to sit back and think, “How will I pay it back?” But in fact, there is nothing to pay it back with. How do we explain to people before they end up bankrupt or in jail that it’s not worth doing?
Answer: This requires changing not only the individual, but also the entire society, the industry, and our worldview. A lot depends upon the mass media and on the surrounding environment, that is, everything from the closest circle to the general surroundings.
The owners of television programs advertise products that people think they need to buy, people do buy a lot of them, and do so on credit. Today credit is given out left and right because the same bankers that make the loans have an interest in the company, and they end up reclaiming all of people’s possessions in order to repay their debt. This is all it is: a huge machine that is set up to drain a person of his last resources.
If we could break this cycle and through legislation against advertising, clear our mass media of all advertisements, banning all forms of advertising, where would we be? It should be understood that what is being advertised is detrimental. A person himself knows what he wants is not needed; what he doesn’t need, he doesn’t need to know about. After all, it’s better to have a few useful things than a lot of harmful ones.
This is a big problem. I hope that the current crisis will do the job. On the other hand it will simply rid people of the chance to think about that each year they must acquire more to increase the gross domestic product and chase after profits.
Profit should be internal, measured in inner comfort. I won’t feel more comfortable if instead of producing ten kinds of yogurt today, tomorrow I create twenty. This will only exacerbate the problem and no one feels a sense of responsibility.
From a “Talk About Integral Education” #5, 12/13/11