“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath
Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?
I read the quote several times. It makes no sense.
Wanting everything is just that. You won’t take less that all of whatever it is, whether it’s the Cheetos in the bowl, the girls on the pep squad or the countries in Europe. It’s also usually unattainable, or the cost of total victory is greater than the benefits. (Well, okay, I can guarantee that I can seize every cheese puff in that bag. At least it’s not that ambitious.)
Wanting nothing sounds nihilistic. You want something, but that something is nothing. Is it not wanting to have any Cheetos (and thus allowing your sister or the dog to swipe them), or not wanting the Cheetos to exist?
Could the quote mean you’re deliberately trying to fail? It’s a clumsy way to express that.
To answer the question, neither of those things is “dangerous”. Wanting nothing spans the spectrum from apathy to contentedness to desiring total destruction of everything (thus leaving nothing). Wanting everything goes from greed to hubris to megalomania. They’re both (or all) human states, traits or personality disorders. There’s nothing dangerous about declaring that you will have every M&M in that one-pound bag for yourself. (Oh fine, that’s gluttony and you’re a danger to yourself. No one’s perfect.) There’s also nothing dangerous about declaring that you don’t care about anything.
So I really don’t see how wanting all the cookies means I’m dangerously close to wanting no cookies. Particularly if they’re tasty oatmeal cookies. Or chocolate chip cookies. Or oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.
Musical accompaniment: Billy Joel’s albums An Innocent Man (1983), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and The River of Dreams (1993)
I’m writing a work report right now, and dealing with a spreadsheet that’s pushing 10MB and is in three languages, with the intent of getting all the important bits into a presentation deck withing the next hour. I’m not sure why I get myself into these things. Of course the Daily Prompt drops into my mailbox, and I have to see what nonsensical drivel they’ve come up with today. So, now that I’ve responded with my own unintelligible gibberish, I can get back to the tri-lingual spreadsheet and resume self-immolation. But not before I go get myself a cup of coffee. And go digging around for a cookie. 10:00pm seems to be the perfect time to go do this. Wish me luck. Thank you.