In our consumer society we are beset with ads trying to convince us that we must have whatever is being advertised. The question we need to keep asking our selves is, "Do I really need this?" I suspect that we would say no to all these ads if we stopped to think of what is actually a need and what is simply a desire. The point I am trying to make is that we are happier when we do not want for what we do not need. We begin to see how much we have and are grateful that we do not need all these things that are attracting us, but we find ourselves happier when we can say, "no, I do not need that."
When I was a young nun my family was allowed to visit for an hour on Sunday afternoons when I was in town for summer-school at Maryville. My mother told me she had a list of six things she wanted me to pray for - I do not think she told me what she wanted but I remember her saying to me after a few weeks: "Stop praying as I keep getting the things on my list and then do not want them." It seems that she wanted an alarm clock that also started the coffee so she and my Dad could have coffee in bed; the first time she tried it, the alarm went off at 4:00 AM; the second time the water boiled but the coffee did not enter the machine; by the third time it would not work, my Dad said to forget it and get rid of it. The second thing on the list was a water-bed. They had just come on the market and my mother thought she would love one. When it came, it seems that is was a disaster as my Dad was heavier and my mother kept rolling over on top of him and so they had to pay to get someone to remove it and get another mattress. I think it was the same for all the items on my mother's list. The funny thing is that my mother usually wanted nothing and if someone even admired what she had, she would give it to them. She did not like extras and hated clutter of any kind.
Let us be grateful for what we have and not long for anything we do not need!