Thursday, May 16, 2013

"A man who can take anything will find most things unsatisfying."
-Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Have you ever hankered for something so bad, you had a number of sleepless nights just musing about it? I could still vividly remember, when I was in sixth grade, it was one of those times in my life when I was struggling to control myself from craving too much, not just for food but for material possessions. From over-the-top gadgets to brand new shoes and costly outfits, I would drool over them until reality pitches in and reminds me of the cruel truth of life's inequality. In other words, there was no way on earth, no road to take, no transportation to ride on, no genie from a bottle, no glistening fairy, to make those selfish and mundane wishes to come true.

Initially, I viewed those moments of the past as nothing but a bucket full of hard kicks and punches. The more I thought about my incapacity to get whatever I wanted, the more bruises I had to endure. A lot of people believe that the lessons they learned from their experiences in life are just a tool to prepare them for the future struggles that await. However, I believe that the wisdom we pick up from a hard won battle against a havoc-causing predicament could also be life's explanation towards an experience in the past that we misinterpreted or just negatively painted by the emotions we felt during that time.

For instance, all I thought when I was a child, that the reason behind my feeling of emptiness caused by not being able to get everything that I wanted was simply God's punishment because he either saw me many times not eating my vegetables or he caught me red handed throwing the veggies in the trash can. I had no idea how to look at my situation in a different and a more positive way. I had always believed that life could be cruel sometimes and it just liked to be cruel whenever it wanted to. 

I thought life was plainly and stupidly unreasonable. 

However, just recently, I finished Mitch Albom's book entitled The Time Keeper. It's a great book by the way, I suggest you give it a go when you get the chance. It definitely is a must-read. Anyway, there was a statement there that says "A man who can take anything will find most things unsatisfying.

After passing by that line, I read it again and decided to write it down. I looked away from what I was reading and thought really hard about what I just read. Then after a few minutes of contemplation, I had come to a realization that this quote that I stumbled upon is the best explanation towards not being able to get everything that I always wanted. 

I realized that the reason why I wasn't able to get everything that I always longed to get my hands on was because they wouldn't really give me the happiness that I thought they would provide. Temporary happiness perhaps but what can temporary happiness really do to one's life? After a few seconds of using your newly bought IPad, after wearing your Armani clothing in a party, after getting envious stares from other people, what comes after???


You put your Armani clothes back to your closet, you put your IPad down, and you go through the motions of your life. Sooner or later, the new stuff that you have now would be buried to the grave of unforgotten things because new ones are starting to replace them under the lime light. You will now go back to your bad habit of craving for new things and sometimes feel bad about other people getting them and you can't.

I'm not against people dreaming to get these kinds of stuff, in fact, I myself is guilty of wanting to own even just one of the those things I mentioned but there's a difference between wanting and obsessing. It's not alright to surround your definition of happiness around stuff that could only supply temporary pleasure. It's not fine to feel jealous and bad about our life when we see other people gain stuff that we just can't. Just like what the quote says, there's no satisfaction in having everything. You don't have to get everything to be happy. Sometimes, to have a little of everything is already enough to live a blissful life.

Go on. Still strive to get that gadget that you've always wanted, that shirt you always pass by the mall and that cellphone you always see on tv. There's no crime about desiring to have them. However, when you find out that you can't have that shirt, that gadget or even that cellphone because your money is not cut out for it, just please don't act as if you lost your job or your house just got burned down. 

They're just objects for crying out loud. 

Don't aim to get everything but aim to get happiness instead. 

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  1. wow. amazing yes after we get what we want it would just give us a temporary happiness but it will not actually change anything because at the end of it will just be a stuff that will be replaced by a new one. however let's admit that its part of our circle that human really doesn't have satisfaction

  2. Money and material things are just temporary happiness. We can lose them all in just a snap. People cannot be satisfied as they say but what I think we should truly aim is the contentment on what we have and what we can do of the things we have so we can be happy! Very well thought-out post! A Mitch Albom fan here! :)

  3. I completely agree with both of you. Thanks for your comments. :)

  4. Definitely, I agree with you Mr. Erwin. In fact, I was once like you experiencing the same situation. Having these stuffs and other material things are just giving us temporary happiness and later we found out we do not necessarily need them because they become of lesser use and in most cases,we simply junk them and put them into something less visible.

    Most often we crave for something and it is normal as a person but we end up unsatisfied after all.

    This post is very cool, very amazing. Surely I can relate.