What do you want? Is a simple question. It can be applied to your career, marriage, friendships, recreation and life in general. While simple, many of the answers people give may not be what they want. The answers may be more of a sign of the times.
If we go back 150 years, in the US, when most worked on farms, people may have wantedgood weather and healthy crops. They had many children with the hope several would make it to adulthood. They may have also wanted a faster horse and a warmer house.
Today people want WIFI, smart phones, world peace and an end to poverty and hunger. Most people work in offices, have fewer children and drive cars that can outrun any horse.
Science and technology has changed much of what people desire. Infant mortality has dropped significantly. Therefore, people have fewer children and there has been a dramatic increase in life expectancy.
While many people speak of world peace and an end to hunger, road rage and divorce continues to climb. Furthermore, the US may be the country that consumes more food than any other nation. When you consider the examples above, it’s very difficult to seek world peace when you are fighting a bloody divorce battle and expressing rage while driving a car. In addition, if we ate a little less and stop paying farmers to destroy food, perhaps we could put a major dent in world hunger.
With that said, let’s assume we could create world peace and end hunger. What impact would that have on what people want? If external problems were handled, including politicians, what would people stand for? What would they say they want out of life?
As an observer, which is difficult to achieve because I was born into the same paradigm as everyone else, it appears people’s wants are predicated on what sounds good. In other words, what we want is based on what was given to us as something to desire. They were given as slogans. And whatever you were given is all you know. If you think about it, people say things like, they just want to contribute, I want world peace, be happy, be a good person, make a difference, etc. No one is born thinking this stuff.
In fact, it’s safe to say no one is born knowing what he or she wants. You see what others have and it appears to make them happy. You are told what the opposite sex is supposed to do for you. The movies and books tell you what it means to be a good person. Or they tell you what love is. However, how often do people put aside what they have been given as a want and think about what they really want? If they did, perhaps they would face some of the following questions: what kind of romantic relationship do I want to be in? What kind of life do I want to live? What do I want to know about the world? What kind of friendships do I want? Who do I want to be known as?
Once again, as an observer, it seems people want the things they think they are supposed to want. And that will be predicated on the time period they were born. As it stands, when many people get the things they want, they ask: is this all there is? Perhaps what we really want is time to think about what we want from life. That time could give us insight into what we stand for and what we are willing to be responsible for to have that life. Perhaps that could make the world a better place.
What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback. And I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know.