Money is important but it is not the ultimate aim of life. It is what you do with money that matters. You exchange money for food, shelter, and everything else you need to feel safe and comfortable. You save or invest extra money you earn with the expectation you will use it to buy what you need to be safe and comfortable in the future. Most people use money to meet most of their needs. We call it earning a living, or supporting oneself.
Imagine a world where AI did the work you are doing now. It is the same for your neighbors and the people you encounter in your daily life: grocery clerks, the sanitation workers, doctors, teachers and professors, and even artists and authors.
Where will you be? In that world, it may be true that “the most important decision you can make for your happiness is which parents you choose” as stated by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz said at the 5th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in 2015. Only the few who control AI may have jobs and they may be the only ones who can feed, clothe and shelter their families. You may be homeless, living hand to mouth, hungry, anxious, and, in all likelihood, eventually addicted. Unable to meet your basic needs, you and others like you might fall into a lawless armageddon, filling prisons and fulfilling doomsday prophecies about AI and humanity. Or you may be part of a sustainable community that generates its own food, clothing, shelter and energy. You may find ways to put your talents to work that foster security and a sustainable capacity to meet needs for you and others. You may be fulfilling dreams of utopian societies and a simpler life.
On the other hand, universal basic income may become as ubiquitous as taxes are today. You may have enough money to meet your needs, but no purpose or meaning in life. Instead of being homeless you become hopeless and descend into depression. Or you could take another route, and free income may liberate you to explore and develop parts of yourself so that you fully live your purpose. You may find yourself inspired and driven to create and produce goods or services that help other people, or to take a much more active role than you ever considered in building and maintaining a strong community around you.
In preparation for the almost nearly inevitable changes you will face in your employment status, you can define what support means to you. Support is composed of many things - from food to love, home to hope. Another way to think about support is all the things you need to be happy.
- Written by L. Musikanski
The Happiness Movement has always been about systemic change, and at its core, has always focused on where people are hurting the most. In this tragic (and not unfamiliar) time, we grieve, both as a nation and individually, the loss of the lives of some of our future generation, and the loss of a sense of safety for all of our children. Today the leading cause of death among our children (ages 5-19) is gun violence. There are some more guns than people in America at present and about 50,000 guns are sold daily. Thus, we present our Call to Action, and ask you to do the same. You are welcome to download ours and adapt it for your own Call to Action
In California and other areas, laws are under consideration or enacted to ban oil-powered cars. Is this the answer to sustainable development? It is true that such laws will increase production of electric another alternative powered vehicles, and the alternative fueled car industry may be a good investment - that is if our environment will survive.
There are many problem with electric car legislation, from social inequity to the wars and human rights violations each time lithium is in demand, not the least of which is how do we expect to meet the demands of electricity? (Spoiler alert here - nuclear power is already powering many of us). But the main problem is that this kind of legislation takes us further away from systems that allow for sustainable living and sustainable development.
So, why don’t we do the smart thing? Let's invest in public transportation. Let’s just ban cars all together, and create clean public transportation systems that support rather than deplete the environment. And let's put an end to living out of harmony with each other and nature, and take a note from the world’s happiest countries, where village living allows people to work, play and live pretty close to sustainably.
There are other solutions. These solutions are not brain science. They are what our great grandmothers knew, they are in all of our past, and they are right there for us to discover. Can you make a difference? Remember - language is the DNA of culture. Talking, thinking, sharing ideas about how to live sustainably makes a difference.
Authored by L. Musikanski