Want. It’s not a word that I’ve been encouraged to use or even think about. It’s a selfish verb, conjuring up nearly every Seven Deadly Sin that I can remember, lust, envy, pride. So whether want is a sin, something bad or wicked or however else you choose to call it, do you think it’s wrong to want? Do you want? What do you want?
But we are bombarded with wants, through media and advertising. We are always being told that our lives are incomplete without X, Y and Z, life will be more meaningful if only we part with yet more cash, we will happier and healthier for having, having, having.
Here’s a fascinating quote:
“It is estimated that a century ago the average man had 72 wants, of which 16 were regarded as necessities. Today, the average man is estimated to have 474 wants, 94 of which are regarded as necessities. A century ago, 200 articles were urged upon the average man by salesmanship—but today there are 32,000 articles which require sales resistance. Man’s necessities are few—his wants, infinite.”
The scariest thing? That was written in 1956. Yes, 1956. Where do you think we stand today?
Anyway. That’s not the want I’m talking about. I’m talking about realistic ones, fair ones. Because at the end of the day we all have reasonable desires, wants. I think sometimes it’s important to sit down and take stock of our lives, what do we want from it?
Parents probably are right to discourage children from ‘wanting’ but do they at the same stifle the other kind? Maybe for some the idea of their children growing out of their cuteness and becoming adults in their own right is a horrifying prospect so they baby them. The result? Clueless grown kids, and possibly spoilt for good measure too. Parents have a responsibility to prepare and train their children for adulthood, it’s not something that can be avoided or should be. Children grow up. Fact. Of course I don’t believe in the other extreme which is prevalent in modern society, the precocious sexualised mini adult at the grand age of five. Please let them be children but prepare them, train them as they go.
Some families are laid back by nature but that doesn’t preclude this training, instilling responsibility and a strong sense of identity, of self is not against this credo. In fact, bizarrely, in my experience of the families around me, it’s the laid back, chilled out families who have raised the strongest children. Individuals with a strong sense of self and a direction. Give children a direction, help them face the future rather than fear it.
I don’t do goals. I don’t do change. I don’t do future. I don’t think it’s done me any good or is doing me any good. Like my writing, I need to start planning and preparing before I set out on my journey. I have to establish what I want from life and where I’m headed. Like any physical journey. I need a plan and I need a map.
Doing that is not going to be easy but I think it’s going to be clearer. More purposeful. I’m fed up of drifting through life. It’s easy to feel like a failure when you miss out on things along the way, yet you had no idea that they were there. I need focus.