Saturday, November 22, 2008

What We Really Want

What do we really want? I know that sounds like a simple question, but can you really answer it?

Once you thought that when you got a new car that would make you happy. Those first few days of smelling that new car smell, admiring the graceful lines, appreciating how fast the heater and air conditioning kick in and go to work, or how good the stereo sounds.

But then how long does it take before it simply becomes the means to get you from point A to point B, and all the initial excitement has faded? It is no longer a source of great happiness, it is simply another thing we use.

Didn't the same thing happen when we got other new things? We would work the extra hours or take on the extra debt to get a big screen TV, and that was just great, until the bigger screen was just the thing we now watch movies on. We no longer even notice how much bigger it is than our old TV, it just is.

How many people have said that they would be happy if they got a new house in a certain neighborhood. Then after they were living in that house for a while, they wanted a different house. It made them happy only for a while.

Obviously, we could keep on repeating this cycle forever, and some people do. We want this car, this watch this suit, this TV, this house, jewelry, this kitchen gadget, this exercise machine, this whatever. And then how long is it before we see some of these kitchen gadgets and exercise equipment for sale? Or the jewelry or suit doesn't get worn that often. But at the time we decided to make that purchase, we were certain that it would make us happy.

So what are the things that really make us happy? What do we really want?

Perhaps the real happiness is found in our friendships, our communities, our neighbors, the people who enjoy some of the same activities that we enjoy.

Perhaps there is more real continuing joy from getting a massage every couple weeks or every month than in a diamond necklace and earrings. Perhaps going for walks every day will provide more pleasure than buying an exercise machine. Perhaps there is more lasting pleasure from cooking dinner with friends than from shopping for whatever is fashionable right now. Perhaps getting readings will provide more insight into what is really happening than watching the news.

Each person has to make their own choice. Maybe the next time we ask ourselves what do we really want, we will get a different answer.

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