What Do People Want?
Do you know?
What do we all want so bad? Is it all pre-programmed? Are we captives of evolution? Our DNA the source code of some real or imagined creator?
What do you want?
I tell myself I’m materially satisfied, but I want more. I want security. I want safety. I want enlightenment and wisdom and peace of mind. Truth and beauty and love. And more and more and more.
I want connections and I want solitude. I want “someone to talk to, and someone to sweep the floors.”
Do people really want to kill other people? We do a lot of that. So many people living and dying, and we want it to make sense when maybe it doesn’t, or it makes all the sense that it needs to if we could only see and understand. Maybe some people have understood. Plato or the stoics or Epicurus or Lao Tzu or Jesus or Buddha or Marcus Aurelius or Ralph Waldo Emerson or that guy Steve at the bar last night. Maybe it’s that voice in my head that I can’t hear or won’t listen to. (It could be the cicadas.)
I don’t know if I fully understand “Plato’s Cave,” but I felt a chill when I first encountered the allegory — that depiction of reality — and wanted to see more than the shadowy figures. But there are always the chains of our everyday lives and our immediate fears and desires. We are trapped. We see only the shadows on the cave walls.
Maybe it’s as simple as interrupting the program and rewriting the instructions to our suiting, much like when my dad showed me how to modify Oregon Trail running on the old Commodore PET computer at Lincoln Elementary School. Perhaps if I could, I would be just as juvenile as that kid in the school library, adding curse words to it and laughing with his friends. And maybe it’s all as unreal as that game, the changes just as temporary, and the laughing the only thing we really want.