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Our physical existence and well-being depends on the consumption of goods and services. Yet, it is hard to establish how much we really need to live well and be happy. Whilst our desire to accumulate seems often to be infinite and insatiable, having ‘more’ does not necessarily improve our well-being. If ‘more’ were always better, those of us fortunate enough to get hold of an unfair share of goods and services would be the happiest human beings on Earth. But this is not the case! Moreover, in a bid to secure ‘more’ for ourselves, we may have deprived others of their fundamental rights to survive and flourish, and to have ‘enough’.
The widespread obsession with the ‘acquisition’ of the goods and services we are told we need has a direct bearing on the carrying capacity of the planet Earth. Our consumption needs ultimately depend on the utilisation of natural resources. In this respect, the more we consume, the faster the rate of depletion of non-renewable natural resources. The waste from our consumption also contributes to the pollution of our environment. So, we are at this juncture of history where nobody is a real winner. Those with ‘plenty’ often fail to enjoy life and be content with what they have, and those with ‘too little’ find it hard to make ends meet. Yet, our political leaders — and most of us as well — are still preoccupied with increasing the quantity of goods and services produced, instead of improving the quality of our lives through ‘sustainable living’.