Living with More vs Less: Finding Balance in an Unequal World

ব্রহ্মপুত্র
2 min readSep 25, 2023
Photo by Nadin Mario on Unsplash

In today’s modern world of extreme inequality, many are faced with a difficult question — should we strive for more, or learn to live with less? With the richest 1% owning double the wealth of 6.9 billion people, it’s clear that resources are poorly distributed globally. Meanwhile, climate change looms as consumption continues to grow. Finding balance has become critical.

While consumer culture pushes endless growth, living simply allows us to focus on what truly matters — community, nature, and purpose. Tiny home movements have sprung up worldwide as people realize pursuits like travel and quality time matter more than square footage. And studies show experiences make us happier than possessions.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

— Leonardo da Vinci

Living with less also reduces our environmental impact. The average American uses over 90,000 pounds of resources annually, driving deforestation, pollution, and wildlife destruction. Going car-free, buying local produce, and avoiding plastic lets us tread lighter on the earth. We can have advanced technologies while living simply.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed. — Mahatma Gandhi

However, we must also acknowledge systemic inequality. Not everyone can voluntarily downsize — many already struggle to afford basics like food, housing, and healthcare. In developed nations, living simply is often a luxury only available to the affluent. And billions live in poverty without access to clean water, electricity, or education. While living with less is noble, every human deserves a basic standard of living.

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

— Frederick Douglass

Finding balance means ensuring all people have their needs met before some indulge in extreme excess. It means lifting up impoverished communities and promoting sustainable prosperity. With compassion and effort, moderation can spread. Tiny homes can get cheaper. Urban farms can reduce food deserts. We can build a world where everyone lives sufficiently while respecting planetary boundaries.

Living with more or less is a complex personal and societal question. By coming together and rethinking what truly matters, we can build an equitable society that values people over possessions and needs over greed. With sharing, simplicity and justice, balance becomes possible.

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ব্রহ্মপুত্র

author, poet, photographer, artist, data analyst, linguist… ………and last but not least ……… .… a failed priest…….