Standard of Living vs. Quality of Life

We seem to live in a “stuff” oriented society where the philosophy du jour is “she who dies with the most stuff wins.” There have been times in my life where I have had more stuff and there have been a few times in my life when I have had less stuff but my Quality of Life has never been as high as it is now. Now that I really understand the difference – I really “get it”; my quality of life will always only increase.

I think most people understand the difference between Quality of Life and Standard of Living but I wonder if most people really think about it. Alternatively, do the majority of people, as Thoreau stated, “live lives of quiet desperation?” It certainly appears that way and I wonder how we, as a society got to this place.

As our populations grow, it is natural that our economy grows too. More people not only need more stuff to live but they also need some means to make that living. Advertising grew out of the need for merchants to inform people and as technology advanced it seemed natural that those means would be used to the merchants advantage not only in terms of improved manufacturing and delivery methods but in advertising methods as well. Better yet – double up for efficiency and advertise on the side of the delivery truck.

So the progression seems natural but somehow along the way, we seem to have forgotten what is truly important. Maybe as a civilization, we never really focused on Quality of Life. Maybe our major focus has always been Standard of Living. Maybe it is only the minority trying for a “return” to basics, to something, somewhere we never were. Maybe it only seems like we were more people centered because it is the religious and moral leaders who tell us this. Somewhere in our deeper consciousness there rings a note of truth.

Is it our truer nature, our soul, our spirit crying out from under the heaps of stuff and saying, “Is that all there is? I want something more.”