We spend a lot of our life looking for more. More money, more clothes, more friends, more experiences. Do we ever have enough?

Sometimes we need to think about what we need and not what we want. We don’t really need much just to survive. Even if we go a bit further and include some things that are just nice to have it isn’t much. It is a lot less than most of us in one of the industrialised countries have. So why do we keep wanting more?

Part of it is because we are told by advertisement to want certain things. Part of it is keeping up with the neighbors. And another part is because social conventions require things from us that may not be required in lesser developed countries, like changing our clothes daily. Usually we don’t analyse why we want more. But maybe we should do this more often, because getting more doesn’t give us more happiness or even make us more content but very often just the opposite.

Many people buy things on credit they don’t really need. Fortunately that isn’t one of my failings, I have another one which is that I don’t like to throw things away. That has its good sides but it also leads to me accumulating more things than I want to have and needing more space because of it. That is one reason I now consider very carefully whether  whether I really have a place for whatever I am considering to buy and whether I really need it. Most times the answer is No. I’m also working on getting rid of things I don’t need any more but that’s a subject for another day.

I’m more tempted by getting more experiences, whenever I see or hear about someone doing something cool I want to do the same just because it sounds like it would be fun. On the other hand if I had never heard of it, I wouldn’t have thought of doing whatever it is, so why do I now want this new experience? I must say though that I tried things I heard about and sometimes enjoyed them very much and for a very long time. I would have never tried sailing or scuba diving if I hadn’t heard about how great it was from friends. I tried it, I loved it and I kept doing it for quite some time.

So in my opinion we can have enough things. And once we have enough there is no good reason to get more, especially when we get something new not because we found a real need for it or because it makes our lifes easier but just because it is cool and everybody has it. With the experiences I am not so sure. Some new things we try may give us a lot of enjoyment and may even change our lives in a small or large way, especially when learning a new skill is involved. Others don’t seem to have any lasting effects. We just have to look at them critically and think about whether some experience may bring something new and lasting into our lifes or whether they are likely to be just fleeting.


If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away

Henry David Thoreau Walden, Conclusion, 1854

Today in the tram I saw a homeless man sitting on one of the seats. I took the seat right in front of him and even right before I sat down I noticed his rather sour smell. My thoughts were probably not too different from most people’s: Why did I sit down there? Should I move to another seat? Will he get off soon? Will he be insulted if I move to another seat? Do I care if he is insulted? Well if he doesn’t want people moving away from him maybe he should wash.

And from there I went to: Well he probably doesn’t have anywhere he can wash. He probably has other problems than a little smell, especially since it got really cold last night. He’s probably in the tram to warm up, so he won’t get off anytime soon but most likely will travel from one end to the other till someone kicks him out. He probably didn’t chose deliberately to live in the streets but drifted there by circumstance and maybe some choices he made, some bad luck and some choices other people made. I won’t say it can easily happen to everyone but it can easily happen to everyone who is a little different, who doesn’t always fit in completely. And let’s be honest, we probably all belong in that category, at least sometimes and in some places.

So I decided to just accept him as a fellow human being, who is a little different but not really better or worse. A little smell won’t hurt me, let him enjoy his warmth, the night will be cold again. I stayed seated, which he probably didn’t notice or care about one way or the other, but which made a difference for me because I consciously chose to stay. And because by staying I started thinking about people being different an how quickly and easily we push away anyone who is different as if afraid we’d get contaminated by them. I decided to make more of an effort to accept everyone the way they are.

Look To This Day

The Salutation of the Dawn

Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.

attributed to Kalidasa ca. 400-500 A.D.

I was maybe 13 when I read this poem for the first time. I didn’t completely understand it but it spoke to me, deeply enough that I wrote it down and learned it by heart.

The poem speaks to me today in the same way it must have spoken to people 1500 years ago. It speaks about something I have been trying to do and I am still trying to learn, living today and living well today. I still spend way too much time thinking about what I could have done differently and maybe better in the past and way too much about what the future may hold. This poem tells me again what I know but most times don’t follow. It tells me, that by living well today I create a past I will like to look back on and lay the ground for a future I will enjoy to live in. But all this happens today, now, and it comes from what I actually do now and not from what I plan to do some day or what I wish I had done in the past.

I created this blog for several reasons. One is, that I want to clarify my own thoughts and by shaping them and writing them down they become much clearer to myself. Another is, that others may be struggling with the same things I am. I can’t offer solutions but maybe you can learn something from my struggle and this may help you to see things clearer and maybe bring you closer to a solution for yourself. Solutions are quite individual I expect but the struggle and many thoughts are similar for everyone.

The things I plan to write about are varied, some may be about living in the moment as described in the poem above, others may be about sustainable living, meditation, creativity, gratitude, learning, physical and mental health, life as it is and as it should be, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings and whatever else I feel like writing about. I hope you will enjoy it!