Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Needy Paradox

I have never owned a big boat but someday I would like to. Yes I know everyone says that the best days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. I believe that’s humorously correct, but I also believe, THAT POINT is true for most things when you are human. Humans are inherently never satisfied. If they have shoes, they will eventually want a skateboard. If they have a reliable food source, they will always want more variety of foods. If they have a hut, they will eventually want a bigger hut than their neighbor PLUS a 3-skateboard garage.

The human paradox is, no matter what the ‘IT’ is, as soon as the perceived need is satisfied - it actually ISN’T. Now I know that seems as if I missed the point – the premise is that owning a boat is a lot of hassle after the fun wears off. I actually do get it. However, I simply think we are too quick sometimes to blame the OBJECT of our affections for our unhappiness rather than ourselves. More often than not, if we dig deeper beyond the emotional surface, regardless of the problem, the REAL ‘blame’ for negativity and dissatisfaction will be mostly with OURSELVES.

Most people will instantly reject the discomforting thought that family and friends too, fall along the same logic thread. It has been quite awhile since it was fashionable to consider people as mere objects. But syntax aside, the odds are high that you have chosen your friends and mates, beyond superficial camaraderie, because they fulfill some important need in your life. Yes just like those old smarmy dramas so often proclaim, your spouse actually DOES ‘complete you’. The hard part of these ‘developed’ relationships is to learn how to successfully balance between your needs and the needs of your loved ones.

Obviously every time you get a little antsy or distracted, you can’t simply discard your family and friends like that sporty floating ‘albatross’ you bought last year. Fortunately, people are much more complex and interesting than most objects. People continue to grow, change, and re-fresh constantly (assuming they will bathe once in awhile). Unlike THINGS, people actively interact within the environment around them, learn from their experiences, and usually get a little better with age. As we get older we are perceived wiser and more responsible because we temper our emotional highs, lows, and needs a bit. We are more self-assured, settled, and often choose to focus on the needs of others more, than those of ourselves. When we are young and impetuous, our needs are extreme and life is challenging, wildly unpredictable, and yes, necessarily selfish.

So when evaluating your newest needs or lamenting last year’s moment of weakness to possess that once big, beautiful, and perfect SOMETHING, remember the paradox. Another thing better will ALWAYS follow. That does not mean to endlessly wait, put your life on hold, and avoid life’s every risk, decision or significant relationship. It simply means to make THE BEST CHOICE when you are ready and don’t forever second guess that decision. Don’t blame others in your life for your dissatisfaction. You ALONE are ultimately in control and responsible to find a way through life’s maze and be happy for what you have MADE, with what you have. Ok, that’s MY LAST WORD on the subject but don’t tell my wife … I’m sure she’ll have a few more choice ones of her own on that boat idea!


  1. Wow, great post! Thought provoking for sure.

    Thank you for stopping my blog and for the encouraging comment!

  2. Gee -- I come here for humor and I get a
    surprising dose of Psychology and Zen Philosophy.
    Thanks for saving us the cost of buying those
    expensive college textbooks.
    PS: I agree with your premises. Your are quite DEEP -- and I don't just mean like a boat with
    a hole in it.