‚The world is not more than a disc, anyway’ said everybody and Galileo Galilei proved them wrong.
‘The moon is unattainable, anyway’ said everybody and Neil Armstrong proved them wrong.
‘We are fine, anyway’ said everybody and the world will prove them wrong.
That is the structure of the human mind. We had the disc, then we wanted the globe. We had the moon, then we wanted to walk on it. We had the earth, then we wanted too much of it; there’s a fine line between ignorance and stupidity, sometimes they are the same.
There’s a malaise tip-toeing around us. It is called greed.
Soon it will creep, and then it will not bother to be quiet anymore. It will stomp and roar and eat its way into our heads until we are not sure anymore why it is that we want the things we want, but we want them anyway.
This is not an accusation, man is not inherently bad. He is just too short-sighted to see what’s lying ahead if he goes on to live by his whims, so he simply continues to consume. He buys the things that promise the greatest possible happiness, and when he has them and realizes that he is not happy now, he buys more. Because there must be something, mustn’t there? There must be an antidote to the restlessness in him, the feeling of never quite catching up with the vision he created of himself as a small child.
There must be a remedy to unhappiness, and we seek it in the wrong place.
We seek the feeling of belonging, of family, in the new kitchen set because the advertisement showed a laughing family behind it. It worked for them, why should it not for us?
We seek the reassurance of our beauty in products that promise to even out our skin, to hide away the ugly and the unworthy, because the advertisement showed a self-confident woman using them. It worked for her, why should it not for us?
We seek all those things in all those things because it is promised to us, by media and newspapers, by the people surrounding us.
If we could just be as happy as those people, the others, life would finally work out for us. But the story is as ancient as it is true; happiness can never be found where it is chased only for semblance. If the unhappiness stems from the comparison, between us and the people in the ads, between us and the people on our social media, nothing we ever buy will make that go away.
Consuming things can only be healthy if it serves to satisfy a human need: If we are hungry, we must eat. Our body will tell us when to stop.
Consuming things with the object of finding happiness in them will therefore never work because we don’t know when to stop. There is no ceiling for happiness, and our minds go sour from it.
That is the difference.