The Insatiability of Wants

“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” Benjamin Franklin.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” Epictetus.

The Wise tell a cautionary tale about the insatiability of Wants, and how falling into Greed devastates the good life.  Still, like Cassandra in ancient lore, their wisdom remains frequently unheeded.

Glamour, Excessive Consumerism and Other Excessive Wants

The modern pursuit of glitzy glamour and the lure of Consumerism is more commonplace than ever.  Many today crave expensive/excess dining, clothing, jewellery, cars and other material wants, or envy others who flaunt it. Yet on obtaining the object of their desire, they begin to bore, discover deficiencies, tire of maintenance and seek the next high.

The fact is Wants are like opiates, the more we get, the more we crave.  Eventually there is not enough for the next spike.  Withdrawal symptoms or drug tolerance is experienced in absentia.

Focusing on Needs

Perhaps, we should endeavour focus on our basic needs instead, that which sufficient to help us grow, and much less onerous to satisfy.  On achieving true abundance, we can appreciate our blessings, deepen our understanding of Life’s mysteries and help those less fortunate than ourselves.

P.S: This is not to say that we should go extreme or cold turkey, but the point is to illustrate that we are so much more fortunate than others, who do not have enough for their basic needs.  So that perhaps instead of being too consumed with excessive wants, we can count our blessings, improve ourselves meaningfully and give back.  Different points of view and comments are welcome.  Thank you.

Image Credit: Guy Sie

11 thoughts on “The Insatiability of Wants”

  1. Experience is the bitterest ; ) Used to have a more cluttered living space a while back. The extraneous pollutes our world, cost money, energy and time to produce and maintain.

    Now my family treasures clarity, ease and space with less things to take care of. We avoid bringing home new stuff, even if it was given free! Instead, the useful but extra items have been diverted to those who are in need of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I absolutely agree – there is an endless list of things we can desire, but happiness never lies therein. Appreciating what we have; valuing people and experiences over objects; giving regularly to those who have less; de-cluttering minds and hearts – these are the paths that have led me towards contentment and satisfaction.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! As you say, Laurel, the declutter path is rea!l Simple and least taxing on resources = highly achievable (since it is reduction) and provides consistent contentment. Any little extra achievement and appreciation is itself a bonus to happiness! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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