On the day my employers announced yet another proposed company acquisition, I felt the need to get a balanced view of all this capitalism. So I turned to a very trusted source of wisdom, that of one of the great Buddhist authors, William Woollard.
Today I have been listening to chapter 15 of his book, Buddhism and the Science of Happiness, as recorded and published, in podcast format, by another pair of amazing Nichiren Buddhists, Jason and Karen Jarrett of abuddhistpodcast.com fame.
Chapter 15, entitled The Wealth Delusion, explains that although incomes and personal wealth have increased significantly in the past fifty to sixty years, people have not become proportionally happier as a result. On the contrary, with the tendency for people to measure their own self worth, as well as that of others, by what they earn or the things they possess, there has been a gradual trend to become less and less satisfied with our lot.
William has been a part of my life since his days on television, as a presenter of fantastic programs like Tomorrows World and Top Gear. Back then he wasn’t a Buddhist, but Buddhism has had a profound and lasting effect upon him and the people around him.
If you get the chance, take a tour of Jason and Karen’s website, and download some or all of William’s readings. They are freely available and well worth listening to. In fact listening to the podcasts was really the reason I became a Nichiren Buddhist myself, so another heartfelt thank you to The Jarretts for all the hard work they put into the site, and a massive thank you to William for taking the time to write the book, and then record his wisdom, so that the rest of us may profit from the lessons he has learned over the years.