The other day I told a friend about the feeling of expectation that accompanied my grief and how empty I felt when nothing wonderful happened to me. She said we have to make wonderful things happen, we can’t just wait. Then she started quizzing me on things I wanted to do. I couldn’t come up with anything. I’ve never really wanted much, never had big dreams or wild fancies. I do want to want something, though. It would give me a goal, a reason to be hopeful, an investment in the future.
But here’s the conundrum:
We’re told that we have to want something, have to try to reach beyond our comfort zone so that perhaps wonderful things will happen to us. At the same time, we’re told that all things come to those who wait.
We’re told that dreams are important, that we need to have something to live for. At the same time, we’re told to be grateful for what we have, to live for the day.
We live in a society with an economy that is built on the principal of wanting. The more we want, the more we buy, the more we use, the more we help the economy. At the same time we’re told to be frugal, not to waste, but more trash automatically accompanies more goods. I had to get rid of so much of our stuff when I moved out of our house, that it makes no sense to buy more stuff. So, where does wanting to want something fit in with that situation? I sure don’t want more stuff to eventually have to get rid of!
And then, there’s the Zen philosophy that we should neither want nor not want.
So what is the answer? Wanting? Or not wanting? Going after something or waiting till it comes to you? Having dreams, or being satisfied with what you have?
(After the conversation with my friend, I did think of something I wanted. I always wanted to make a gingerbread house, so I made a little one. I don’t want to eat it, though. But still, I can cross it off my list.)