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Humans Are Destined To Be Restless Because We Can’T Help Ourselves From Wanting More

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There’s something undeniably fascinating about immensely large things: 7ft-tall gargantuans who tower over others, tycoons like Jeff Bezos that have more than a hundred billion dollars, fighters with the punching power of a Ford Escort at full speed, and singers with vocal ranges broader than the titanic all amaze me, and their shared determination lies in excess. Just as X said in his poem Y, humans are destined to be restless because we can’t help ourselves from wanting more. We may be happy now but it’s just a moment before we crave more happiness.

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Coming back to the super-huge mustard: other than its literal means of use as a food condiment, it symbolizes wealth, power, and most of all abundance. When Costco stores foot-and-a-half tall jars of mustard on their shelves, their business model isn’t to sell millions of huge mustard jars but to attract us, the customers. Not only does the jar scream Costco has it all but it’s also simply fun, might even make you smile, or at least look twice, maybe browse through the other products on the shelf that aren’t so immensely big. Simply, no one really needs a foot-and-a-half tall jar of mustard, but it’s show stopping, jaw dropping, and eye popping. Kids stop to stare and adults reflect on the changed times with growth where there is enough demand for a food condiment that manufacturers see put to produce a foot-and-a-half tall jar of mustard.

Bigger just used to mean better but nowadays, bigger means more power, more ownership, more leverage. Humans are wired to strive for more, for better, and for greater, it is from this instinctual plight for immensity we make excessive decisions. For example, we pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to watch an NBA game live, up close in the front seats to see these giant human beings push athleticism to the absolute edge. As spectators, we concede (that) we will probably never reach the athletic capacity of these athletes but still we pick our team and give our support, sort of an allegiance almost. We want to be associated with greatness, we believe that a selfie at Jeff Bezos’ keynote or snapchatting a Travis Scott concert makes us woke and cool. So why can’t we be satisfied with what we have? At what point do you draw the line and say enough? Yes, a selfie doesn’t make you as successful as Bezos and a snapshot won’t make you an artist of Travis Scott’s caliber but it illustrate our dreams, our goals, and our hopes. So do you draw the line? Never.

You never draw the line, despite the dangers of excess, the human restlessness, the incapability to stay satisfied has forced us to push the boundaries. A foot and half tall jar of mustard screams progress, and marks how far we’ve come from days of famine when salt was a luxury, sugar was gluttony, and flavour was a myth. That huge jar of mustard is much like a celebratory watch that one purchases after reaching a milestone in life, a trophy from a competition in school, or even a childhood letter to yourself, it serves as a relic of historical advancement, the mustard marks our past that mirrors our future.

11 February 2020

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