Why Are We Unhappy? We’ve More Than We Ever Had

Shots of Awe

One of the maladies of the modern age is that, even though collectively we have more than we’ve ever dreamed possible, we remain perpetually dissatisfied. It’s almost like we are wired never to be content. And that seems to be the case. I mean, it’s been written that we are insatiable wanting machines, designed to desire. And so, in some ways, that has made us reach out and transcend boundaries. We didn’t stay in the caves. We haven’t stayed on the planet. We went to the moon. We crisscrossed the skies. We extend and we transcend. But on the other hand, that exploratory itch, that genetic pull that makes us tread forth, always in search of the insatiable deliciousness of the new, the wholly other, the unfamiliar also makes day-to-day life kind of banal.

Again, it’s kind of sad. Because the very same quality that makes us these majestic creatures that soar above the heavens and transcend their batteries has made us perpetually dissatisfied neurotic beings, living in urban centers, drowning in consumption in an over-capitalist, bloated system that can no longer satiate us. Always wanting something else, until we’re overwhelmed and overweight and immobilized by how spoiled we’ve become. And yet, we enjoy very little of it.

So what do we do? How do we find a way to leverage, and combine, and reconfigure the tension of this situation? That we always want more has made us great, but that we always want more almost makes us kind of miserable. And so, I don’t know. I haven’t resolved that yet—I haven’t resolved that yet.


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