To do or to have, that is the dilemma

To do or to have, that is the dilemma

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If we do a job just to have money to buy everything that comes our way, we subordinate our intellectual and professional development in an insane way. In other words, we underestimate our possibilities for growth and the potential of our real capacities.

"Happiness is not doing what you want but wanting what you do"

–Jean Paul Sartre–

The idea, without a doubt, is to reconcile both parameters (doing and having), because we cannot deny that we live in a social context in which having is basic and essential to meet certain needs.

Do: the dilemma of yearnings and personal growth

We cannot always buy everything we want, but this is not a negative thing. All these renunciations of material whims are constructive limits. They remind us that we are human and that, as such, there is a limit to all our desires, material or not. And, strangely enough, they also help us to accept death: the ultimate limit.

Obviously, the bet to do, instead of having, is very interesting, but it requires more effort, patience and dedication. You must have a virtue that few achieve in life: the ability to renounce, based on higher values ​​or a more transcendental goal. Consumption puts us in front of hundreds of products and insists that we need them, so only those who have developed a heightened consciousness can understand that this is not the case.

Those who are more concerned with having to do, are capable of dedicating their entire lives to a job that, deep down, they detest. Or that it gives them very little satisfaction. If you ask them, they will tell you that they must make that sacrifice because they are paid well. In this way, they end up having beautiful houses that they are never in, beautiful furniture that they never use, children for whom they do not have time, couples for whom they do not have affection, etc.

Finally, every decision in life has a cost: you gain something, but you also lose something. Everyone decides what they are willing to win or lose. There are hundreds of testimonies from people who chose to have, instead of being or doing, and in the end they repented. They grow old obsessed with getting extra money, and when they realize it, they no longer have a life to enjoy it.

Having: the dilemma of satisfaction and the broken bag

The first stumbling block we encounter on the way is the question: to work to grow and fulfill or to work to survive? Reality demands that we produce money, whether we like it or not, since we can hardly live without it, or at least we expose ourselves to great uncertainty.

The problem with the "having approach" is that it becomes a bottomless bag. Obsession easily becomes a compulsion, which feeds back on the obsession itself.

After an acquisition, the emotion generated can be really intense. A kind of bathing of optimism with the purchase of the new telephone or the latest model car, or the most expensive dress of the most recent season. But that state of exaltation passes very soon. So the only way to get excited again is to become infatuated with a new object and go through the same cycle.

It is not healthy to have a lot on the outside, if there is a void inside. These temporary compensations are called to feed a frequent dissatisfaction. This is so because in the "way of having" affections, the ability to enjoy small things, the cultivation of meaningful ties are left aside ... And all that is what truly gives life a meaning.

Doing and having: a binomial that should not entail contradiction

Continuing with our reflection, the healthy motto would be: "not to sell ourselves for money, but not to remain without covering our basic needs". Obviously, this is a healthy logic that would allow us to survive without ceasing to be what we are or what we aspire to be.

The healthy thing is that each person has an economic means to survive: that they have the purchasing power to obtain what they really need to “live with quality”. The problem lies precisely in that concept of "living with quality" and in the means used to achieve it.

Money and material goods are not enemies of the quality of life; quite the contrary: they are absolutely necessary to guarantee it. What does strangle our existence is living according to material whims, which we often achieve with money that we do not have. That is what makes us slaves of having. That is what makes doing a means and not an end.

Who knows how to do, who can do, surely will always find a means to have. But this does not apply to the opposite case: who has, does not always know or can do. Someone who lives by doing, probably leaves a mark of his existence in the world and in those around him. Someone who only lives to have will probably only end up being the slave of a consumerism that will have no rest or mercy.

Mind is Wonderful

Video: Moral Dilemmas. Baillie Aaron. TEDxSWPS (July 2022).


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