Somewhere along the way, we privileged, first-world people, decided we wanted more. The American dream, which promises anyone can achieve anything, married capitalism, spread around the globe, and birthed a generation of people who would willingly work themselves to death. When we want we aren’t content, and so happiness has become a radical act- to disengage our need for validation from others and feel happy within ourselves is unprecedented.
If we were completely alone in the world, wandering around with no one else to see us, would we spend our money on expensive clothes or simply those that are comfy? Would we dedicate hours to the gym and to a muscular physique or simply eat what we enjoy? People always want more- a bigger house, a newer car, a designer wardrobe.. but who are these things for? Because, with a little perspective, having a bed, a stocked fridge and a roof over our heads is enough.
Of course, I’m no progressive saint- I am guilty of all these wants, but what I really want now is to focus on not wanting at all. The value of contentment is unappreciated.
And, without these superficial wants, the work-life can become less, freeing up time for genuine connections with friends and family, rather than forced fun with colleagues. If you can work a job you enjoy for comfortable money, or slave away at something you hate with a ‘benefit’ of incredible money, just so you can save up for a four-wheel-drive you’ll never have any use for in your pristine, tarmacced housing estate, then priorities certainly need to be looked at.
I’m aware different things make different people happy, but this whole grand scheme of being fed advertisements to make me want the latest thing, to make me want to work more to make someone else more money really doesn’t wash with me.
Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your comments on this whole topic.