More And More

Have you noticed the tone of the commercials nowadays?

Every second commercial boisterously and noisily assures you that their product or service gives you ‘MORE’. The word ‘ZYADA’  is being hammered at you all day long in one way or the other. It seems to have become the most enticing word in the all languages. If this word… or some of its more subtle variants… were banned from the advertising industry, I am certain the industry would shut down.

This desperation for more has the unhealthy tone of panic in it. There is something of a cornered rat in it too. It’s as if the rat were running faster and faster… while crouching in its corner baring its teeth and trying to look menacing.

There are two kinds of running. One is when you run towards something, the other is when you run away from something. The first is a positive motivation. It is the joy and pleasure of gaining something inspires you to pursue something. There is no desperation or need underlying your efforts. There is just a worthy, dignified striving for improvement. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

When you run away from something, however, you announce your fear of the thing you are running away from. The stress is palpable. You aren’t hoping to gain anything; you are just trying to make sure you don’t lose the much you have by strapping it to your back when you start running. Do you think you will ever be able to run your best with your baggage tied to you like that?

The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This desperate running away has another strain of stress added to it. Left to yourself (like on the proverbial desert island, perhaps), you’d take stuff or leave it alone. Living among your brothers (and sisters) however, you aren’t able to practice you inherent loftiness of perception. You aren’t as afraid of losing life’s bounty per se; you are worried more about your brothers getting more than you. And THAT, my dear friend, is a poison indeed!

So the unwanting soul

sees what’s hidden,

and the ever-wanting soul

sees only what it wants.

~ Lao Tzu

Honestly, did you need that new car you’ve bought because your junior bought one… and well… ‘if he can afford it on his salary, why can’t I?’ syndrome? Did you really enjoy that bonanza of a trip which, truth be told, made you feel like a hundred because it was so hectic and exhausting- but to which you felt compelled to go because you are fed up (like eating your heart out fed up) of all the holiday photos thrown in your face by your newsfeed? And while on the subject of the newsfeed… you know why you want to upload your vacation photos the day you return while a mountain of laundry languishes in the corner, don’t you?

I wonder when the vigilance to get value for money got converted to the disease of an endless demand for more. Sometimes it feels as if people have lost the capacity for contentment. More seems to be the bottom-less pit in which humanity has happily suck itself. It reminds one of that frog in the parable… the one who lived in a well.

The worst of it is, even when you are able to get more bang for your buck than you ever could in the history of mankind, you still feel resentful. It is as if you were being cheated out of that tiny, additional sliver that your brother got and you didn’t. If it weren’t so sad it would be hilarious.

Left to yourself (back on the desert island please), would you care two hoots for the car (of course you wont need it since the island can be covered in three strides) or the holiday (oh, but you would already BE on a exotic island, wouldn’t you?)? What else would you not need if you weren’t being sold the idea of getting more; nor were afraid your brother would get the more and you’d lose out?

Time to re-evaluate and de-clutter?

More And More
Picture Mine

More And More

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12 thoughts on “More And More”

  1. Yes, zyada ka vaada. The ads don’t seem to make any impact. I do love the Amazon jingle though. Aur dikhao aur dikhao. 🙂 The deeper questions of life — why we do what we do? My personal experience with FB has been to be more cautious and tone down the sharing part. No more vacation pics uploaded. Careful about the children’s pics too. And less staying connected as well.

    1. I went on a vacation in April and kept dragging my feet about uploading the pics (some of them were really awesome though). But I just didn’t feel like making a spectacle of the holiday. Kids pics too I don’t like to share. I think we’ve all had a little too much of social media sharing.

      Don’t you DARE try staying less connected with me! Bol deti hoon… achha nahi hoga haan! 😀

      1. Me too. I had this fabulous vacation in Rajasthan but haven’t been able to do posts at all. I think I did one on Jodhpur. Of course, all pics I used there are non-personal. I think I’ve had it with pics sharing on FB. 🙂 These days on weekends, I log out of FB completely. I think FB was a fad for me that has lost its relevance now.

        Arre jaaneman, you are one of the reasons why I have not deleted my profile. I have considered that too.

  2. the quest for more is indeed a bottomless pit. We have become a victim, addicted to the idea of more that we lose track of what;s important and what’s not.Loved the way you have put across the idea.

    1. Rajlakshmi people try to convince us that the non-essential is essential- and we buy that idea. Just because it is necessary for the marketeer to sell the product, doesn’t mean it is necessary for our life. It isn’t our job to keep companies afloat by buying all manner of junk! 😀

  3. Less is More – that’s what we need. We really do. I can’t tell you how light and relieved I feel when I get rid of or give away or sort out for the recycling store all the excess from my cupboards etc. Really, we don’t need all the stuff we keep buying and accumulating. I have realised that we attach too much sentimental mush to a lot of objects. Sure, some of the things we possess have special memories, special vibrations etc. And that we must cherish and take care of. But there is a lot of stuff which we just have because….well, because we just have it! And then we keep buying because these slick ads keep telling us to 🙂 After reading your post and then reflecting back on my latest post about buying less, I am now even more motivated to get rid of some stuff today! Need some de-cluttering therapy today!

    1. This post was inspired by YOUR last post! I read it and thought… I must write on this theme too. 😀

      About the sentimental mush, you are bang on! We do! And in the process we hang on to stuff needlessly. Yet we don’t stop buying more! Where do we expect to keep the new until the old leaves the house? At this rate our houses and wardrobes would need to expand every year!

      Good luck with your de-cluttering therapy. What with renovation going on, now is the right time to do it! 😀

  4. There is no end to the more we demand, not just spurred by the ads, but by the world around us — if we give it any credence that is. It is this tendency that makes people encroach the pavement as they build a ‘small’ patch of garden outside their homes, illegally extend their flats a ‘little more’, never mind if it encroaches in another’s space and ask the sabziwala to add a couple more bhindis after the scale balances. The innate greed of humans come out in subtler forms too.

    Social media is another animal, which I have no hopes of taming so keep at arm’s length 🙂 How I love your desert island analogy! It made me smile a bit at first, but the smile went on widening till it was a big grin. Your posts have that effect on me. And reading them in the morning helps too 😀

    1. Zephyr, you’ve hit the nail on the head when you talked of the way people try to encroach the pavement. There is no filling those stomachs. The question, for them, isn’t what they have… it is always what does my neighbor have (and why can’t I grab a piece of that too).

      You surely know how to make me feel on top of the world. I’ll sleep with happy thoughts now. 😀 <3

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