Our greatest desires are ultimately impossible to satisfy

Edwin J. Viera , Columnist

A few months ago, I started watching the show, “Damages,” starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. During the climactic ending of the first season, Byrne’s character, Ellen Parsons, is forced to choose between her fiancée, David, and her job working for Close’s character, Patty Hewes. In this situation, she chose the job over David.

The acting on the show is excellent, but this episode does bring up an interesting question. What if Parsons never had to choose? This doesn’t just apply to this show, but also applies to the real world.

If we didn’t have to pick between things, would we be any better off than we are now? Would our desires go away, or would they increase? Would the world be a different place if we were satisfied with the little things? I couldn’t help but wonder.

When it comes to fulfilling our innermost wants and secret desires, can we ever have it all or does it require a struggle to achieve it?

In the year 1538, Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, once told Thomas Cromwell, the Earl of Essex, “a man cannot have his cake and eat his cake.” Having it all is difficult because we have to consider what we want. For some it may be a nice apartment with a nice job, while for others it may be a good marriage.

I went to my roommates so I could get another person’s beliefs on the thought of having it all.

Dalton was the first one I found, and he said, “No, not all things revolve around you. You have to work hard because it’s not going to come naturally. You can try, but it won’t happen every time. Unless you’re lucky, then you can have it all.”

If luck is what it took to have it all, I was going to spend most of my life searching for a four-leaf clover and wishing for a double rainbow each time the rain fell.

Later that day, my friend Mohammed was looking for someone to edit his journals for one of his classes. I was looking for someone else’s opinion on the idea of having it all, so a mutual agreement was made. Mohamed said, “Nothing’s perfect. Life wouldn’t be exciting. If we all had what we wanted, we wouldn’t have wars, or any global issues”.

The next day, my cousin Larissa contacted me, and during our conversation I brought up the idea of having it all. She said, “You can have it all for the moment, then your wants & needs change.” I asked her why they change, and she responded by saying, “Because once you have it all, you will come to a point where you begin to think… now what?”

The author, Roald Dahl, gave us the novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” that tells the story of a kid who lives in poverty, but finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar of his favorite candy. He goes to the massive factory of the mysterious, yet amazing chocolatier, Willy Wonka. Four of the characters in the book have horrid qualities that demonstrate the evils of life.

The first kid to find a golden ticket is the gluttonous Augustus Gloop who consumes abnormally large quantities of food in a single day. The second child to win is a spoiled brat named Veruca Salt, and who is always asking her dad for massive amounts of things, that she may never use because they only hold materialistic value to her.

Another character is Violet Beauregarde who chews gum all day, and is a competitive young girl. Following her is the character of Mike Teavee who spend his entire day sitting around a television set.

It’s amazing how restricted their worlds were. Is that what separated them from Charlie?

The other four children had everything they ever needed, but they got bored, so they simply retreated to the one thing that they like the most and decided to embody these. Unfortunately, these traits don’t exactly help them once they are in Wonka’s world because their horrid traits lead to their demises.

Maybe Charlie was different because he didn’t want much. He was satisfied by his family and the amount of happiness that they brought him. Even if he was in poverty, he found a way to look at the bright side and be content with the life he had.

Sure, we may not have it all, but in the long run, do we really need it anyway?

We may want it, but maybe, just maybe, we could learn to let go of what we want and focus on what we have. Sometimes the most important want or desire has been in front of us the entire time.

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