Monk Brings a Sobering Message of Moderation to Sustainable Brands

by Jen Boynton,, Jun 8, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand -- On the opening night of the 2016 Sustainable Brands conference, the venerable Phra Anil Sakya, buddhist monk and professor at Mahamakut Buddhist University, took to the stage. He came to share an important reminder with a group of sustainability professionals who were quite literally wiggling in their seats waiting for the networking happy hour to begin. Moderation should rule all our actions, Dr. Phra said. He pointed to capitalism as the root of our problem:

“Advertisements stole our identity. They tell us what we need and that is where it stole our identity. That’s where we lost our purpose.”

Because advertising tells us what to want, what to work for, and what to achieve, we have lost the ability to figure that out for ourselves, he continued. Our purpose has quite simply been waylaid by the pursuit of more, more, more.

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it. When we don’t have a purpose, it’s a great tragedy.” Dr. Phra wondered aloud whether one can even be human absent this centering mantra.

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