Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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Satish Kumar is the editor of Resurgence magazine and program director at Schumacher College in southwest England.
Possessions are signs of status, success, position, and power. It’s no wonder that our modern society has been called the consumer society. Unlimited economic growth has become the ideal of every nation in the world. In order to achieve such growth, we have destroyed lives, families, the social fabric, and our relationship with the natural world. We have passed the point of increasing human well-being by increasing material wealth.
Most western students (I say most, not all), and interpreters of Mahatma Gandhi have understood him in a rather narrow sense. They have seen his non-violence, his Satyagraha and his pacifism in terms of war and resistance. They have ignored a very important section of his philosophy which is about the reconstruction of a peaceful society. War to him was only a by-product of our economic and political systems, a symptom of wrong relationships among human communities. There is no point in resisting war if we do not remove the causes of war.