When we start the journey of life, we all feel anxious in the face of our world that has no beginnings nor endings, like a wild train ride that knows neither the station from which it started nor its destination; A train without conductors, a train that does not slow down and it is unsure as to whether it will stop on its own or derail on a bend in the path.
Beyond the metaphor or realistically speaking, we find ourselves on this crazy ride, where all is at full speed. It demands more and more from us and we want more as well. It is a matter of status.
Try and find the measure of what corresponds to us and gives us dignity. Try to be more, before wanting to have more.
In order to be accepted on this train of life we have to have things, many things, and each time even more things – those things that are valued by travellers and equate to power, prestige and wealth. Today, when we read old stories we are amused by the countless number of objects used for trade that are useless to us now but in those times were priceless – making some happy while others unhappy, converting leaders and creating subordinates. And though the objects in today’s material world may differ, the situation is just the same. In order to stand out you have to keep gaining more possessions. We all, therefore, want more.We want to be there with those who are above the rest, at the same height of those, which is desired to be, of those that already have what we should obtain. It is never enough.
But this competition is never ending while the train continues on its indefinable path. Nothing is sufficient for as we reach one goal another appears another step higher. The aspirations and efforts of our objectives amount to nothing when we achieve them. Then, what we have obtained ceases to be enough since there are people on the train that have as much as we do, and much more. And so, the next stage is to conquer more so we can be compared with those that exceed us. We all want more, yes, but we have to know what we want.
If we have a house suddenly it becomes too small, perhaps because it is truly too small, but generally speaking because we have filled it with useless junk or because it happens to be smaller than our neighbours house. If we cannot buy a bigger house, it is undoubtedly due to a lack of ‘status’. If we work a decent job, whatever it may be, and we earn enough money to cover our basic needs, it wouldn’t take us long to discover that this money is really not enough for anything. The margin of inflation that devastates the countries of the world and takes value from our money is another physical and psychological reality: the more we have the more we spend and the more we spend the more we are short of money.
Life has offered us the opportunity to find a person worthy of our love. However, the virtues of this person start to fade away when we enter into the game of comparisons and, with a few exceptions to the rule, nothing is more fashionable than to covet another’s husband or wife, and once obtained ceases to be desirable in the light of another more notable conquest. Time is not on our side and overwhelmed by the lack of it, we constantly want more of it. We are desperately fighting to get a few more hours in the day, one day off in the week or an extra week of holidays in the year. Then what? With this victory we reach the sad conclusion that we do not know how to use this free time and we waste it in vain, turning to ‘distractions’ that dull the spirit and help us to forget what we have.
What is the cause of this insatiable thirst, of this frenzied race that seems pointless and without meaning? Although it may sometimes seem that we humans act without thinking, the certain thing is that we do respond to certain Laws of Nature, but in our ignorant daze or lack of evolution we respond to these laws in an instinctive, distorted and haphazard manner. Do we really know what we want?
It is known that all living beings follow a natural law of evolution that is manifested as growth, expansion, opening, elevation and other various characteristics depending on the case. We humans are not exempt from this law. On the contrary, we have the ability to perceive it, but when we do not perceive it in a clear way we act impulsively, and our growth is limited to that which we habitually act upon. If we would get off the train and walk, if we could pick up our true speed, our rhythm, we would find our ideal model of growth. We would want more, but of that which makes us greater and better. Our efforts would be directed to realise our potential as a human being. To be more or to have more?
Material possessions? Yes, in proportion so we may live comfortably. Prestige? Yes, in our own eyes and in the eyes of those who love us and share our fundamental ideas. Power? Yes, that of our moulded Will.
Try and find the measure of what corresponds to us and gives us dignity. Try to be more, before wanting to have more. After all, there are many who had many things and wasted or lost them in a day. But few hold the key of the inner being, the control over their existence, their emotions, the understanding of their pain, the strength to face the tests and wisdom to distinguish who we are, where we are coming from and where we are headed to. We all want more, yes, but we have to know what we want. We have to promote this marvellous energy of growth. We want to get off the train and walk on foot until we learn how to walk and who and what can bring us in contact with the truth.
Delia Steinberg Guzman International Director of New Acropolis Cultural Association October 2006