Updated April 30, 2020
Most people with food, clothing, and shelter–and usually a whole lot more–are not content with what they have. They want more. Because there’s always more to be acquired, they’re always discontented. Here’s New York Times columnist, David Brooks, making this point in reference to newscaster Brian Williams, who lied about his Iraq adventures: “The sad part is the reminder that no matter how high you go in life and no matter how many accolades you win, its never enough [for most people]. The desire for even more admiration races ahead. Career success never really satisfies [most people]. Even very famous people can do self-destructive things in an attempt to seem just a little cooler”. [New York Times, 2/10/15, A19.] There’s always more. If you won’t be content until you have more, you’ll never be content.
Marshall McLuhan articulated this sentiment when he wrote about “a tendency to live not only in terms of present commodities, but of future ones. Unrest is present no matter what may be the present house, car, job. Living is done in terms of a future which cannot be seen rather than in terms of present human or material possibilities.” The Mechanical Bride, p. 112.