virgin islands scene

Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest.
-- Mark Twain
 

 

Saturday, April 3, 1999

Wish list

Imagine this. You wake up one morning and quickly discover that everything you wish for will magically and instantly appear in front of you. You wish for a brand new sports car and poof, it appears in your garage. You wish for a slim, muscular physique and poof, you have it. This is fun, you think.

You wish for a billion dollars in your bank account and suddenly it is there. Then you realize you don’t really need the money because you no longer must buy anything. You wish for a new computer, a puppy, a giant house, a loving companion. They all appear instantly. Physical manifestations of your desires begin to surround you.

After a while it becomes overwhelming. Even the most casual thought causes a “poof” and another artifact appears on top of the growing pile. Suddenly it gets very boring and quite senseless. What good is all this stuff, anyway? You soon grow to resent your desires, because they are filling your life with useless junk. You cannot escape them.

You finally wish to not have this power anymore, and that wish, too, is granted. Instantly, all the new stuff disappears and you are left with only the experience and a little more wisdom.

It all gives you a profound new appreciation for the value of effort. You realize that your desires are not fulfilled by the things you desire, but rather by the person you become in the process of following those desires. When you could have had anything in the world, the life you have right now -- with all its struggles and frustrations -- is what you selected over everything else.

— Ralph Marston

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