Three pillars of holistic development — Part 2
Economy has been and without any doubt, always will be the driving force of development. It has been at the forefront of establishing new benchmarks for success. Economic development leads to wealth generation. It creates opportunities for innovation and growth. It creates opportunities for business development which further leads to employment generation. A growing economy catalyses the process of research and development and often leads to new discoveries and inventions. A good economy ensures that people have ample opportunities for financial growth; it ensures that people have the purchasing capacity to not just fulfil their basic necessities but to maintain a decent standard of living. Thus, it can be claimed unarguably that economic growth and development is a critical element of holistic development. But our major focus must be on the sustainability of this economic development. It is undoubtedly much desirable to have flourishing businesses and better facilities, but at what cost? Would it be okay to establish industries at the cost of nature? We are so focused on accumulating wealth, and that too at the cost our natural resources, that we are aggressively depleting the vital non-renewable resources, we are polluting the abundant natural resources that are the most critical elements of human life. We are not considerate of conserving water, we are not concerned with depleting air quality, we are not tensed by the depreciating soil quality, not wondering what will be happen when the non-renewable fuel resources are completely vanished, not alarmed by the diminished green cover and forest areas. When will we understand that we can not eat, drink and breathe money?
We need to realize that economic development, however important it is, cannot be at the cost of systems that support our life, it cannot be at the cost of mother earth. All our efforts for the growth and development of the economy must be sustainable enough to co-exist with our natural resources. New discoveries and inventions are welcome but only if they add value to our lives without compromising our environment. Why should we be busy creating means of our own destruction?
We do not need to invent sustainable human communities. We can learn from societies that have lived sustainably for centuries. We can also model communities after nature’s ecosystems, which are sustainable communities of plants, animals, and micro-organisms. Since the outstanding characteristic of the biosphere is its inherent ability to sustain life, a sustainable human community must be designed in such a manner that its technologies and social institutions honor, support, and cooperate with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life.
Sustainable economy means an economy that can co-exist with the environment, an economy that is inclusive and works towards bridging the gap between the rich and the poor instead of further widening it. The goal of a sustainable economy should be to provide equal opportunity to every individual of the society.