Needing, Wanting, Acquiring, and Letting Go

Childhood by Thomas Cole

We start with nothing, in a pool of blood, gasping for air. We need. We need to breathe, to drink, to eat, to move, to learn, and to retain that knowledge. We need things like shelter and clothing, and makes life more enjoyable if those things are comfortable, and stylish, and if they enhance our ability to entice satisfaction of our last great need: for companionship and love.

Youth by Thomas Cole

After all our needs are met, we turn our attention to the next phase. We want. We want the world and we want it now. What we want is different for each of us but in one way or another our life’s work is consumed by satisfaction of our desires.

Manhood by Thomas Cole

We do what we need to do to satisfy our needs and wants. We acquire. We fill our pockets, our homes, our bank accounts, and our hearts with anything we can stuff into them. We hoard and cling and defend our possessions with everything from violence to dishonesty, until what we own eventually turns on us, and possesses us.

Old Age by Thomas Cole

Whether or not we acquire everything we want, there comes a time when our life’s work ends and we enter our final phase. We let go. We let go of our life’s work and desires satisfied, unsatisfied, and dissatisfied. We let go of strenuous sociability and giving a fuck about what other people think. We let go of everything we ever wanted or need until we learn life’s hardest lessons: how to let go of people we love and, finally, how to let go of life.

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