Being in a contemplative mood today a title of a book pops suddenly into my head: Harold Kushner’s “When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough.” I have to admit I have not yet read this book by Rabbi Kushner but somehow the title has intriqued me on more occasions than one. It’s a title that grabs you whenever you walk by it at the bookstore. It grabs your inner voice and leaves a mark in your brain as if it were your subconscious speaking the words “when all you’ve ever wanted isn’t enough.”
So what happens I wonder when all I wanted isn’t enough? How much is enough? Is there an end to enough? The end seems far in sight. It seems to be far out into the horizon like when you are looking out towards the sea. There is no end. The earth is not flat and we won’t suddenly drop off the ocean even if we wanted to. If we keep going and going, we’ll go around in a circle and end up where we started. We end up still wanting something that we previously didn’t have.
Last year I wanted a watch. I saved up and got my watch. This year I suddenly want an iPad 2. I don’t really need it because I already have a desktop, a laptop, a netbook, and an iPhone all to myself. I really only use one at a time and when I read I can read from one of my computers or my iPhone. Yet still it’s not the same. I want that iPad 2. My brain says I don’t really need it. My heart says go out and buy it. This is what happens when all I wanted isn’t enough.
If I were satisfied with finally having gotten my watch then I’ll be completely happy. I’m happy I got what I wanted. Then suddenly, now that the watch is here, it no longer gives me satisfaction.
The same goes for everything else in life. Work, relationships, children.
It’s a mental challenge that will probably exist throughout my entire lifetime. How do we get satisfaction in life. I am happy the way I am, but if I chosen another path or if I had done something different would I be happier? Life sometimes I feel is like a constant search for satisfaction. The never ending search for the unknown.
When in reality, the unknown is really inside your head. Inside your mind. One way I think we can be more satisfied is to just be grateful everyday for what you have, what has been given and what you will receive. I’m not saying be passive and ignorant, but if you find yourself complaining day-in, day-out about everything around you, try instead to use different words. Change from the word “bored” to “happy.” Is your life really that miserable?
Look around and appreciate the good things in life. Use positive words. You will find that it has a good psychological effect on your mood. Even better yet, it has a good influence on those around you. It probably still doesn’t take away the feeling of “when all you’ve ever wanted isn’t enough,” but I think it can somewhat lessen the degree with which you feel it.
After all this contemplation, I think it’s probably time I got Kushner’s book and read it. It’s tempted me often enough.
Have you read it? What do you think about it?