- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 30 November 2016
- Written by CORAL COOPER | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Satisfaction in life can be subjective to how each person lives and where his or her wants lie. If people rely on physical objects to fulfill their life, their wants will be left unquenched. People will remain unsatisfied if they do not consider what would actually make them content outside of physical objects. Attempting to satisfy oneself with purchased items takes away from what people truly need.
The overbearing presence of materialism makes people believe they need the better and bigger version of something they might already have. We live in a technologically advanced age that relentlessly produces new items that are promoted as something we need. With upgraded phones, televisions, game consoles, cars, and computers, the idea of inadequacy of not only our things but of our lives’ is prompted in our minds.
As we move through a consumer focused world, we find our things representing us over our knowledge, accomplishments, ethicality, or morality—leading us to want the premium product telling the world who we are; this is mistakenly carried out by many people. When we consider what humans actually need, the list of items becomes much shorter.
Satisfaction is a state of mind. If we consider how Mahatma Gandhi simplistically lived out the latter years of his life, we can see another side to satisfaction for what we have. With only in possession of a few items before his death (including his shoes, glasses, and watch), we can see he had minimal material items he found necessary for everyday life.
If we remove the superfluous material things from our lives, we find the things we really need are quite simple: water, food, rest, shelter, and companionship. These things are vital to human survival, but are not what some consider satisfying. Those that do not have steady access to food, shelter, or water find that they can be extremely satisfying.
In today’s fast functioning and overproducing society, perspective is what demotes basic needs to being unsatisfying or even unappreciated. Although we seem unsatisfied with what we have, this view can be shifted as it is solely based on perspective. The issue in American society is the unrelenting need to be better than our peers. This competitiveness is often driven by money and is proven through expensive objects we do not always need.
America seems to have a disgruntled hunger to obtain the best the world has to offer. While taking advantage of opportunities, experiences, and academic outlooks is not only self-rewarding and could lead to the betterment of the world around us, the consumption of physical things promotes envious unsatisfied lives. People seem to be satisfied when they have won or felt they can be unparalleled by another. Yet even that false sense of victory can easily be shaken when they realize more money can be had and more things can be bought.
It is beneficial to the growth of civilization to reach for high knowledge through education and experience but it can be detrimental when we desire physical objects that do not provide mindful progress. To be content with the things we have and understand what we do not need is how people can be satisfied.
The most expensive and new item is obsolete when we see that satisfaction is a concept from within and not by the recognition of others. The hunger that drives many people all over the world to have a better life with grander things sets the seeds for dreams and is an important part of becoming independent but the true needs in life can be overlooked through this process.
There is a presence of mind that is necessary to manage the significant line between wants and needs. There is a want to have more than others. The downfall of this is that people fill parts of their lives up with things that do not matter and we become unsatisfied. To be satisfied is to understand what you actually need in life, to obtain that, and be content when you get it. There are no foul tricks in being satisfied with the simple things you have; some believe it leaves more room for you to become yourself.