Changing perspectives of standards in life
In the seventies and eighties phones were status symbols. In countries like India, only the government departments provided this service to the business and public. One has to go to the post office to make international calls. People will be in queue at night till 2.00 AM in the morning to make calls at concessional rates.
During the sixties, keeping a radio a radio in the house was considered luxury and needed a license in India.
In our office in the 1980s there was a phone on the manager's table. You have to ask his permission to use it even for official purposes. You have to finish your conversation within a minute or two. 'Speak less over phone’ was the motto that you can find everywhere.
There was a shortage of LPG cylinders in those periods. There would be advertisements by the LPG companies with tips to reduce the LPG consumption – ‘put the stove on simmering mode for small utensils’ - something like that.
There was an electricity shortage as well. The government gave advertisements in television, radio and newspaper targeting households with tips like "Don't wide open the fridge. Take the food stuff out and close the fridge immediately" to reduce electricity consumption.
In those times, approximately people spent 60% of their earnings on food, 25% on rent and the remaining 15% has to cover transport, children's education, other expenses and if possible savings. Credit culture was not prevalent. The decrease today in the proportion of food expenses to about 20% of the earnings refers to improvement in standard of living, as it increases the outlay for other demands.
There have been changes in the other spheres of life due to increase in the standard of living.
The level of cohesiveness in the society, cooperation among the people, relationships with the extended family, friendship with the neighbors have come down drastically, and consequently working towards common causes by the people in the modern society. We come to know about an accident to a neighbor only through the newspaper!
The fragmentation in the society is palpable.
Now we are entering into an era of social distancing as a consequence of Covid -19!
We have come a long way, and the service providers now encourage us to consume everything more. In fact, it’s more the better because of discounts for increased consumption!
Banks are chasing you with credit cards to buy more by giving points for more usage. We talk about improvement in standards with reference to consumerism today. We also confuse it with standard of living in general.
Standards in life are correlated to behavior referring inter alia to positive attitude, honesty, integrity, loyalty, and confidence. Raising standards through self-branding for self-improvement enables one to live in harmony with the society. Self-branding exercise improves a person's leadership qualifies.
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