"I don’t know if it’s true that people are living mainly by self-interest, though I do know that in economics there is a tendency to think like that. By and large, standard mainstream economics tends to conflate rationality and self-interest, though there is hardly any relation between the two. I think a lot of people have motivations other than self-interest, and these can be developed much more. But unfortunately, the schooling system, the economic system, and social norms tend to give more emphasis to self-interest as a motive, and that is a problem. If we want the human race to survive, we need to go beyond self-interest and foster different kinds of values and social norms. How to do that is a difficult question, but a good place to start would be the education system.
If you look at the Indian education system, there is a huge pressure to compete and come out on top, so obviously you are reinforcing the self-interest motive. Nonetheless, through education, democratic engagement, and social movements, you can still develop different ways of thinking and behaviour, and we have to do this somehow. Otherwise we are doomed."
"At a more personal level, consistency between your beliefs and your actions, having a good rapport with your friends and family. I don’t think this is a matter of success, however. These are just the kinds of things one would hope to see and achieve in one’s lifetime."