Desire. Want. Need. Perseverance.
We live in a social stratum that is based upon material possessions. The more you earn, the more you are supposed to own. You are inundated with messages that what you own is who you are. We are bombarded with messages that tell us we are only as good as our latest purchase. Materialism feeds that human desire to prove our worth to the world at large.
But what exactly is desire. Romance novels teach us that desire has a sexual context. I am certain Freud believed that desire, as with everything except a cigar, has a sexual context. Even the desire to succeed, to own material objects, has a sexual context. The more successful you are the more desirable your mate/spouse/sexual partner. As in the days of yore, the better hunter, had the larger family. Simply because they could feed them. Of course in our present first-world, the hunters skulk on Wall Street, or the back alleys of the dark net, while those who roam in the local forest call it a “sport.”
But what if we began to measure desire and success with a different yardstick. What if we chose to use our human desire to succeed by measuring how often we think of others. What if our human desire to succeed is not measured in luxury automobiles, but in the number of school buses, or ambulances, we help poor communities buy? What if our human desire to wrap ourselves in silk, leads to making certain that no person was ever without a pair of shoes or a winter coat? What if our human desire to buy expensive wines and dine on Kobe steak, leads to no person ever going hungry?
Desire is part and parcel of who we are as human beings. We do not need to rid ourselves of desire. What we as a society need is to revamp how we channel our desires. We need to hold up as models of humanity those that desire a truly righteous life, which is not to say a deprived life.
We are also allowed to desire comfort, health, education and wealth for ourselves.There is no honor is self-deprivation. Now there are times that self-sacrifice is essential to human survival. War. Famine. Political upheaval. All lead to self-sacrifice for the greater good. But there is also times when self-sacrifice is a fools errand.The success is in knowing when enough is enough and to desire the benefits of good works over material gain.
When does society hold up a yardstick and say to others….here you are now done. It is time for you to desire to make this world a better place. Yet how much is too much?
So we desire, want, need, strive, persevere. All good traits. Necessary for survival. Human traits are not the negative influence on the world. It is the goals and priorities we set when we use these traits that define us and tell us who we really are.
Change what we desire. But not desire itself.