Having isn’t as good as wanting…

“After a long time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”

— Spock

You’ll most likely disagree when you first hear the wise Vulkan’s words. After all, the entire reason for the existence of our monetary desires is that we want to have them so badly —be it our dream car, or maybe the newest iPhone. But, the more you think about it, as I did, the more convinced you are of its truth.

We always keep a wishlist of our own at hand, which keeps reminding us how happy we would be once we get our hands on that coveted piece of gadgetry, or that trendy new designer-wear. What we don’t realize is that the appreciation for any such purchase is short-lived. I remember begging my mom once to get me a Power Rangers figurines set, thinking it was the very toy I’d been waiting for my whole life. I thought I’d play with it for a long time to come. In only a few days, it lay unused in my cupboard, as though its value had magically degraded. That’s because the toy I once longed for was now so integral a part of my life that I had, in a way, moved on. I was already eyeing the bigger and badder toys in the store. My wishlist had an auto-update feature that I had no idea about.

Assuming such never-ending dreams and greed to be universal truths, is it even possible to find a person who has exhausted all his wants? Desireless folks seem mythical to me. In today’s world, stagnation is a curse. People’s aspirations are sky-high and mine are, too.

As of late, however, I’ve become more alert about what I want to get for myself. I understand that my wants know no bounds, and that nobody’s ever been truly happy for having spent that sum of money.

Don’t get me wrong. I do have big desires. For once, I want to feel what it’s like to own the latest and greatest smartphone / PC that’s in the market. I wish I had a Mercedes every time I see one. I want to spend my life in sea-facing apartments in Marine Drive. But, for me, these dreams are playing a much more important role than just waiting to be tick-marked. They keep me going. They serve as ‘motivators’ to ensure that I keep working towards achieving them. I may never end up buying any of the stuff above, but the fact that I’m working hard enough that one day I could, gives me immense satisfaction.

The way I see it, in most cases, our contentment is not based on our present possessions, mostly because our needs are so few. It is based on what we believe we may own in the future. Getting what we want is overrated, because we have a limitless thirst anyway. Besides, wants are blessings in disguise, giving us worthy goals and ensuring that we are at our productive best. And for this reason alone, some of the deepest desires are best left unfulfilled.

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