Next to the
question of comfort in relation to one’s sense of well-being, we have to look
into how emotions affect an individual.
is fundamentally an emotional being though he has been endowed with the quality
of mind called intellect. Emotions and
feelings usually dominate one’s personality.
Common statement you come across always is that man is highly
intellectual and has the ability to find out the true from the false, to find
out the right from the wrong. If you
observe the people around you and observe the things that happen about you, you
will see that emotions overrule the people generally. A doctor smokes. As a doctor, he knows very
well the harmful effects of smoking on the health of an individual; if only
intellect is ruling in him, he will not continue to smoke but give it up. Here, habit supersedes intellect; for him,
then, perhaps, the feeling of satisfaction and the comfort it gives him compel
him to go to smoking. Perhaps, it is
possible that you took a decision not to continue some bad habit, like smoking
or drinking or even taking food more than necessary. Any habit that you feel
you have to give up. But it has not been possible for one to give up a habit at
the very first time he decides. All this goes to prove that emotions affect,
influence an individual.
While talking of
comfort we found more money can command more comfort-promoting gadgets like AC
machine, just to cite an example. But when you come to the issue of affect, of
the influence of emotions on an individual, it has been pointed out by both
economists and analysts that GDP cannot be an effective measure of assessing
the affect an emotion has on somebody. With all ACs on, a rich or a wealthy
person does not get good sleep very often; he hits the pillow but sleep seems
to ward him off. On the other hand, a
coolie, a physical labourer goes into sleep just as he goes to bed. Supposing you have an old photo of your kind
parent or parents or someone you like. You would not choose to throw it off but
you tend to cherish it; because, it carries memories of both pleasure and pain,
just to say so. This worn-out card becomes, turns out into a bit of your past
life. You value it because it rouses in you some real emotions of joy and
happiness, or even regret for some mistake you did to the persons in the photo.
But from GDP point of view, the card, which is worn out turning brown has not
monetary value; and therefore it has no value at all. You can see how GDP fails
when it comes to the question of feelings and emotions. For this very reason,
the economists and the public as well do not tend to care about GDP by itself.
What matters to them is what they get out of it in terms of happiness and
emotional living. Therefore, we can
conclude that affect and GDP need not go together.
We will take up
the last point of well-being in our next session. Meanwhile ponder over al l
these things and it will enrich your sensibility; you begin to know about
yourself, slowly more and more.