Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Being content—not always a good thing?

One thing about being a writer is that I’ll get ideas all the time about different stories. Sometimes I’ll dismiss them because they are too similar to others that have been written. Sometimes I’ll incorporate them into whichever book I’m writing at the time. And then there are those that I file away and will come back to time and again.

Recently, I was pondering on why, as humans, we just can’t seem to be content. There are those who are always wanting more—whether it is power, money, material items, fame, free time or any other number of things.
I listen to a lot of music and it’s amazing how many hidden gems of wisdom are in lyrics. There is a song by the group Train that has the lyric: “In a world of what we want is what we want until it’s ours.” And it’s true. Many are the times I’ve really wanted something, and when I finally get it, very soon I take it for granted.

Another lyric is from a song “Big Yellow Taxi” which has been done several times by different musicians. The version I am most familiar with was done by Amy Grant. A line from that song is “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.”

I’ve experienced that first hand. As an example, when we moved from Connecticut to North Carolina, my wife and kids stayed up there for a couple of months to sell the house and finish school until the winter break. Oh how I missed them! I physically ached from not being able to give them hugs. I found myself as excited as I’ve ever had been when I was going to see them again.

Now I see my wife and kids every day. I make sure to give them hugs at least once a day, and I’m constantly doing what I call “fly by kisses” on the tops of their heads when I go by them. They may think it’s corny, or even a bit weird, but I enjoy it.

Back to the idea of why people can’t be content, I was thinking of an idea where a drug was invented that allowed people to be content with what they have, and the impact that would have on the world. Part of me thinks it may not be a good thing. Would scientists seek to find cures? Would engineers look for ways to make cleaner energy and eco-friendly items? Would the homeless be satisfied with eating other people’s garbage? Would authors write books that challenge their readers to think?

During this Thanksgiving time, aside from being grateful for my Heavenly Father, my Savoir, my family and hundreds of other blessings I have, I’m also thankful for those who aren’t content to leave things the way they are, yet at the same time, use their time and energy to make positive changes.

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