This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
It is subject to comments, criticisms and corrections, and all will be dealt with constructively and do leave your comments I would love to hear from you.
There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Complaints of Discontent

Discontent, are we familiar with this word? When was the last time we settled with something just to "upgrade" it with something else? Times are harder and money just passed by our hands, but the troubles of discontent breaks us in many ways we could ever know, given that we notice and believe me, we never noticed.
I came across an article written by another blogger named Mirella from Perth, Australia  and it struck me how discontentment really took charge of our lives. So having read it, I thought about my life and how I relate with it.
It was not too long ago, maybe many years ago when the advent of modern technology was just a dream and to communicate means to share the same space with another person and talk about an endless array of things. But men are wise and intelligent (also shall I say, generally lazy?) so someone invented the telephone and soon no one needs to leave home to talk to anybody, you just lift up a handset and dial the number away. Then again, men became more intelligent (and also more lazy!) that mobile phones where invented, moderated and made handy that anywhere you are in the world, you can talk to anybody you wished. Where am I heading with this? I used the mobile phone as an immediate sample of how discontent we are. You bet? What's your mobile now? Wasn't it you were just happy with a 3310 Nokia before? Now it's either you're owning and IPhone4 or trying your best to come up with an obscene amount of money to have one. Did I hit home?
I am not washing my hands in any of these for I am guilty as charged. It is hard not to be at par with what is society is coming to, we don't life to be made fun of or taunted and humiliated so we do our best to belong, despite drowning in debt and living way beyond our means. Discontentment is an argument like religion, it's a no win situation, depends on another's point of view and state of being, each has it's owns pros and cons.
Of course one main reason that consumerism was rampant and effective because there was a lot of choice in what we could consume. Advertising and social technologies existed. Do we still remember before that when we bought something it was generally made to last, rather than to be upgraded within a few months?

Whatever the reasons, it seems clear that what consists the good life not so long ago is now considered, at best, the OK life. Unless people are constantly upgrading what they already have, there is always a discontent in our lives. Maybe you feel it, I know that I do.
I like to consider myself a pretty self-aware person. I try to study my motivations and feelings and analyse what’s really going on. Personally I know that when I feel the urge to upgrade and to start looking for something better and newer, it’s to avoid reality.

So why do people feel the need for new things, better things? Is it a real need or a perceived need? I think we can agree it’s most likely we "think" we need it. Once people have spent time and money on buying something they enjoy for a brief period before they begin to feel discontent. It’s a discontent with life and a lack of meaning and fulfilment. Yet, because it’s such a shallow and uncomfortable feeling, without any means to be understood, it gets manifested as an external need. Turning our discontent into a dissatisfaction with what we have means that we now have a real problem to solve. And, solving it often takes time to accomplish and so we put the discontent at bay for a certain amount of time. But they’ll be back the soonest something new were introduced in the market.
Instead of looking for more ways to establish a meaningful life and thinking about our impact on the world as a whole, we take the far easier path of busying ourselves with accumulating more.

I want a new phone, a new car, more shoes and pretty clothes like most people do. And yet I’m also very aware that when I feel a strong need for any of these, there’s something else going on within me. When I start to feel that I need a new something and I start imagining what my life will be like when I have it, I recognise that I’m thirsty for meaning. The feelings are strong and yet the thought of trying to deal something as meaning brings great stress and a sense of urgency to create change. While I don’t know what to do just yet to stop being discontent entirely, the awareness is enough to stop me going too far into wanting and needing more.

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