Sunday Snippet: Aristotle

“It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.”

When you think of Ancient Greece, the same three names inevitably rise to the surface: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Some people may feel that these great Athenian philosophers hold very little bearing on the world today, but these are the same people who believe William Shakespeare has no relevance. The truth is that these men were able to dig right into the very nature of man and this nature is timeless.

In the above quote from Aristotle, we are reminded of the very nature of desire. By definition, we only desire that which we cannot or do not have. This can be yearning for more money, a better job, or any number of other things. At the same time, we learn very quickly that the reward is not so rewarding shortly after it is received.

Let’s say, for example, that you set it a s a goal for yourself to earn $40,000 a year. That’s a very respectable annual income and it’s a reasonable goal to have. It sure sounds like a lot of money for someone who is more accustomed to earning minimum wage. However, should this minimum wage earner achieve the goal of a $40,000 job, he or she will likely get used to this newfound “wealth” quite quickly.

What was once the object of desire has become a point of expectation. Anything less than $40,000 doesn’t feel like nearly enough and $40,000 becomes the new norm. More likely than not, this person will not yearn to earn more. $60,000? $100,000?

Remember that while you are traveling down this road called life, you will likely desire this thing or that. You want a new television, a new confidante, or a new abode. It is also very true that many people live for the gratification of this desire, but know that desire will also act like a carrot on a stick. It’s always just out of reach. Once again, we are reminded to value what we already have.

As Ray told us last week, the grass might not be greener on the other side. Your own grass might not be so bad after all.