“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath
Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All or Nothing?.”
Often, I find myself tippling over the edge in wanting everything. I’m especially guilty when it comes to clothes shopping, although I like to think I don’t just stick to fashionable trends as I’m generally categorised as ‘fashionably alternative’ (like every body else). But really, when I really really think about it, I don’t really want those things at all.
I think chasing your ‘wants’ in life is an endless and unfulfilling game. You’ll never really be entirely up to date with the newest most high tech gadget or fashion-filled wardrobe. But then thats if all your wants are heavily materialistic.
For me, I personally ‘want’ to travel the world. I don’t really need or want any specific things for this, just my legs and my open mind and willingness to learn. So why then, do I waste my time with all the unnecessary bits in between?
Why do I sort-of-not-really want new clothes? A new phone? A new Xbox game? A new book to read or cultural movement to follow? Am I just jumping on the bandwagon and eager to just fit in? What do I want if I strip away these things?Ultimately, I would argue that the want for material things or a successful career derives from a deep desire just to be wanted by someone.
We all have this innate deep fear that we’ll wind up alone or become uninteresting to the people we love or the people we want to love us. And so, we have to keep up appearances with all this new stuff, to keep us in the loop and refreshingly new and an insightful fully functional member of society. It’s uncommon to hear that people are afraid of what other people think of them although I question why we really do this to ourselves and if its entirely necessary.
Some of the most fascinating people have very little belongings. The minimalists of this world are envied for being sharp and inspirational on their design of nothingness. Homeless people aren’t less of a person just because their stuff can fit into one plastic bag. And the thing is, we know this to be true, but still replace our materialistic ‘wants’ for ‘needs’ in order to fit in and be accepted by our peers. The things we have or want don’t and shouldn’t define who we are, so why do we chase after them – even if it is for a potential mate?
I think all-in-all the world would be a better place if we all stopped ‘wanting’ pointless crap. The want for civil human rights, equality and peace in our world should all be a shared want of ours, not the new iPhone 6 or American Apparel disco pants. We shouldn’t have to buy that new red rose shade of lipstick or limited edition pair of Nike trainers to impress or potentially catch the eye of someone and hope they think we’re attractive or cool.
We need to ask ourselves why we really want these things. For our health? Ourselves? To impress someone else? For the greater good of human kind?
Only then will we want nothing, and I don’t really think that’s a bad thing for a life wanting nothing cannot possibly be filled with disappointment or sadness.