Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 2009 - WANT: The relative nature of want

In normal times we all have wants. Usually many wants.
Recently I was reminded of a situation where my wants were reduced down to one and only one want.

How could that be? Aren't our wants many and varied? Well, that depends on the situation. It's all relative.

Awhile back I got sick. Really, really sick. Whenever I would open my eyes the room would spin and in short order I felt nausea. A really, really lot of nausea. It got so bad I thought I wouldn't be able to breath. At some point in this experience my wants were clear and focused. I wanted only one thing and one thing only. The room to stop spinning. I did not care about anything else. Literally, for me at that moment nothing else mattered. The room just had to stop spinning!

Eventually, this passed. Things were once again back to normal and I was looking at my wish list adding even more "things". Ah, everything was right with the world.

That, I believe, is the relativeness of want.

I can't say what others feel or want for sure, but have tried to imagine what others want. Let's say a terminally ill patient. They of course go through many stages according to the psychology books, but I would imagine at some relative point in time they have a single-minded want. A want that supersedes all other wants. Never experiencing that situation, I can only imagine. For each, that want is most likely different or maybe not. I don't know.

When flight 1549 "landed" in the Hudson River, how many people on board had one and only one want? Bet they didn't all have the same want. Maybe, I don't know.

People in war torn areas awaiting the next bomb or rocket to explode. Or starving people in conflict torn African nations wanting food or to not be the next causality. Are they wanting something else as well? Do they have a list? I imagine not, but I don't know for sure.

Here's an exercise for the reader. Think back. Was there ever a time when you wanted one thing. Only one thing. And that one thing superseded all other wants. Hopefully, you have never experienced an adverse event that makes your wants so single minded. Or perhaps you have been so clear, so positive that you had only one single want. For the first situation, I sympathize. For the second, I congratulate you on your clarity.

The point is that wants are relative.

Every time I want something now, It think back. Weighing the current want or list of wants against my wants of the past. Some times I decide that this want isn't all that important. Other times I decide that this want is not only important but essential. And still other times, the want falls somewhere in the middle.

I guess what I am saying is that want is relative.


1 comment:

Lucy said...

I agree want is relative. It seems when life is good for you, then you tend to have your want list grow. When you have a crisis going on in your life that takes a priority on the want list, usually the only thing you want is that crisis to end, you will trade anything for that want to be taken care of. It is amazing how single minded you can become at that moment.