It’s interesting, perhaps frustrating, how a person can be well-read, having consumed volumes of philosophical, spiritual, and religious insights, but just not having absorb a particular gem until a specific “right” time set by…who knows.
This happened to me recently—again. I’ve had this experience from time to time; I call it “clicking.” I’m not sure the notion has quite fully set, fishhook-like, yet, but it feels like at least I’ve discovered a missing puzzle piece.
Oh, I should probably get to what I’m babbling about, right? Guilt regarding gratitude or the lack thereof. I’ve struggled for a few years now with how it’s okay for one to strive for more when one is already successful or has so much. Of course terms like “successful” and “so much” are relative, but they’re real to the individual with the issue.
For example, I have a rewarding career, and an even more satisfying second, developing career. I have an amazing wife whom I adore (and I’m not even a person who uses a word like “adore”), who seems to love me too (I think she may be a bit unstable). I also have three wonderful kids who are in the early stages of adulthood working hard to make their places in the world. In simple terms, by most objective standards, I’m successful.
So…why do I yearn for more? Shouldn’t I be satisfied with what I have?
Am I selfish? Am I greedy? Do I not appreciate what I have? Am I ungrateful?
I now feel confident that I can answer “No,” to all of the latter questions, and as to the former, I now know why I yearn; and no, I shouldn’t be satisfied—grateful, yes, satisfied, not necessarily. Satisfied is a bit tricky in the semantics department, because satisfied is a rather conclusive-sounding term. I mean, what comes after satisfied?
We can be satisfied with the results of something that is completed, or we can be satisfied with a “finished” portion of a certain project. This is how one can be both satisfied and yet yearn to obtain, achieve, create more.
At birth, our Creator, in whatever form makes sense to you, imbues us with natural rights, and imprints upon us certain natural talents, affinities, and proclivities, which we then exploit, hopefully only for good. This explains why we all have different likes and dislikes in the various realms of life and why the Creator gave people freewill to make moral and ethical choices, for without freewill choice does not exist. One person may have an affinity for something you abhor, but if that thing harms no other, who are any of us to question what the Creator imprints on any person.
In more simple terms, we owe it to ourselves, our families, society, mankind, to make the utmost of our gifts while we have the joyous ability to utilize them. Otherwise our underachieving lives insult the Creator by not striving to reach our potential. It is not only possible to be grateful for what we have while still striving to achieve more, it’s essential that we can—should—work to create all that we can while we have the ability, and breath, to do so.