Monday, October 15, 2007

Thoughts on a Quote... Needing Nothing

"It is much easier to teach how to make something than to teach how not to need to make anything." [emphasis mine]

I was reading The Art of Nothing, by Thomas J. Elpel, when this jumped out at me. In the world that we live in, there are many of us who can have anything that we want... we can buy it, rent it, borrow it, and if we don't have the money to do those things, we can finance it. But how much of it do we really need?

Well, we need electricity...
No, not really. Even in the USA, there are people whe live very well without electricity, thank you very much.

Well, we need air conditioning in the summer... it's hot!
No, not really. Our parents and grandparents (depending on your generation) remember when air conditioning was something that you experienced at the movies, and it was new then! Even today, there are lots of people who live in hot, uncomfortable climates without the benefit of air conditioning.

Well, we need a car...
Nope. Try again. There are billions (yes, that's with a 'B') of people who get around without a car of their very own.

When you think about it, those of us living in industrialized nations actually have it pretty good, in terms of creature comforts.

So, why aren't more of us happy?
I know that I struggle with being dissatisfied with the status quo; I want things to be perfect, and perfection doesn't exist. So I often end up feeling dissatisfied.

But honestly, what do I have to complain about? Sure, my life is not perfect, but in many, many ways, it could be much more brutish and difficult.

I have a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat, a spouse, and children to carry on my DNA. I'm also living somplace where all the neighbors know one another, and look out for one another.

So, what do I need on top of this?

A new MacBook, a shiny iTouch, a remodeled house, a snazzy new sports car (note to dh: hint, hint!)?

Answer: None of the above.

All these things are wants, not needs. They wil not help me in my quest for fulfillment and meaning.

©2007 LaVeda H. Mason All Rights Reserved.


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