What is quality of life?
Ancient Indian texts ask us to make a choice between survival and extinction. Survival or extinction by itself, they say, is meaningless. Survival has to be purposeful and enlightened. Survival can only be in terms of quality of life. What then is the quality of life?
Bhagavad-Gita tells us it is not enough merely to live; one must live well. What is to live well is a matter of understanding, aspiration and fulfilment. Towards this end, Bhagavad-Gita suggests a framework of values integrating man’s work, emotions and knowledge in order to give his life a meaning. The main plank on which the quality of life rests, it points out, is the Spirit of Man.
The Spirit of Man has to survive amidst challenges and changes in a complicated structure of needs, enjoyments and power. It has also to transcend the constraints of time and narrow confines of circumstances. At such times, it reaches excellence, evidences creativity and pushes the wheels of progress. (E.g. lives of Buddha, Ashoka, Gandhi)
History enriches itself by highlighting such transcendence of Man and by not merely chronicling conflicts and events.