Once upon a time, there was a boy – Hans. He was a poor boy who left his mother and worked for 7 years for his master. After 7 long years, he wished to see his mother. He said to his master – “Master, my time is up; I must go home and see my poor mother once more: so pray pay me my wages and let me go.” The master gave Hans a lump of Silver as big as his head. Thus, Hans set off on a long journey back to his mother. While travelling, he found the lump of Silver to be heavy and exchanged the Silver for a horse to complete his journey. The horse was too wild for him, so he exchanged it for a cow. The cow was old and stringy, and gave no milk. He exchanged the cow for pig. That pig was a stolen one, so he exchanged it for a goose. In the end, he exchanged goose for a grinding stone to start earning afresh – as a knife grinder. As the stone was very heavy and he unable to carry it, dumped it down a well. Hans returned empty handed to his mother.
This is a summarized version. you can read the full story here.
Hans kept exchanging his possession to get the things he didn’t have. He always was in awe of what other’s possessed. Its paradoxical as whatever he wanted to have, as soon it became his, he set his eyes on a new thing which he did not possess.
Don’t you think there is a little bit of Hans in all of us? We are chasing far too many desires and wants. As soon as they are fulfilled, we stop caring for what we have, and create a new list to possess. Think about it – after getting that coveted job, MP3 player, Mobile phone, laptop, Car, Clothing etc. (list can go on and on…), have you ever told yourself – this is it. I am satisfied with this and I don’t want an better/expensive version. There are two schools of thought working here –
First school of thought says that, well, this paradox of wanting-having- wanting is the prime cause for dissatisfaction in our lives. Its a materialistic race that we are getting ourselves into. All the marketing by sellers/media is creating hollow dreams of possession among common people. Often, possession is linked to status in the society and friends circle. Those who caught in this web, will keep hoarding things and would not ever be satisfied resulting in inferiority complexes and mood swings.
On the contrary, other school of thought says that wanting is the prime objective of human kind. People seem to get a direction and keep setting fresh, harder goals for betterment of their lives. The phenomena of desire is what keeps them ticking. There is nothing in comparison of a goal/dream achieved. That is how people have done inventions and discoveries. Without, this ‘want’, many of us would not live a lifestyle we afford today.
I don’t wish to be preachy and take side of any school of thought. I would leave it on you, wise people who understand what is good/bad, right/wrong for them. I just wish to say that from experience, that most people (including myself), almost 99% of them, start with being the first kind and end and end up being second. That doesn’t mean being first one is wrong and the other is right. It is just that standing at a given situation, we all use previous experience and some gut feeling to decide between appropriate and not so appropriate. We all wish to become ‘been-there-done-that’ personality and gain respect from those around us looking at us in awe with their mouth wide open…
What will you choose to become is entirely on you…After all, Hans could have taken home all his Silver and would have lived happily ever after….
If only, life was a fairy tale….