Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Voice of Want

During the consulting portion of a recent visit to my doctor, he looked at me and said he knew no one who was content in their lives. That is a telling statement for a person to make who knows so many. I have thought a lot about that statement and how it applies to my own life. Contentment is something that has a lot more value to me now than it did, say, even five years ago. The voice of "want" chased away my contentment, leaving a vacuum of longing where contentment might have otherwise made its bed.

I think the world is empty for all the want. Want, need and goals are completely different things...even given that semantics sometimes might demand them be synonymous. I need air to breathe, I need to wear clothing to protect my skin (and keep me out of jail!), and I need food and water to nourish me. Those kinds of needs are important. Many I personally know are blessed as I am to have those needs met. As for goals, I have many. Those goals take discipline and focus and action. In the past, I saw those goals as being "wants" but have come to the wisdom that they are not only NOT the same, they are diametrically opposed concepts.

Wanting is an empty room whose door is falsely labeled "need." Want's room is filled with achingly unstable furniture that offers no solid support and is easily collapsed. If I "want" my past to be different, if I "want" to be the best, the top, the richest, if I "want" you to do, be, act differently; if I "want" that car, house, pair of jeans, at the expense of my balanced budget; if I "want" anything that is presently absent (and unneeded -- see definition in paragraph 2), then I am left achingly empty, frustrated, and discontent. Every day the world tells us what we "want" and diminishes the "have" that we are all blessed with in life. I do not know what the"wants" are that hold you captive. If you are caught in a swirling mud hole of "want" I simply hope that you somehow escape it's false snare. It's not quicksand, it's only mud! And mud...well, it can always be washed away with a little soap, some clear water, and a clear thinking heart.

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