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The Problem of Plenty

Human mind constantly seeks supports, both internal and external. Internally, the mind generates thoughts for ensuring its existence. Externally, the mind holds on to objects, people, positions, fame, and a general good feeling about life and this universe. This habit of the mind to hold on to internal and external support leads us to the problem of plenty.

We humans want to acquire things. In the beginning, it is a need, which gradually is transformed into a desire, a craving for hoarding things. One mobile phone is necessity; more than that is a craving. Again, necessity is not universal. What could be a need for a rich person could be a luxury for a person with average wealth. This shows that surplus increases one’s craving to acquire more and more things. The logic that desire for acquiring things gets subsided if one has many possessions does not seem to work in real life.

We are increasingly losing the ability to be happy with less. Ease of access increases one’s dependence on grabbing plenty of everything. If plenitude were a necessary condition, it would have been impossible for anyone to subsist on earth. In the end, this plenitude does not bring satisfaction.
Having more does not mean more happiness. The ability to be content with less comes from knowing that we do not need to depend on anything external.

Source Prabuddha Bharata August 2017