be careful what you wish for….

(disclaimer: I think this little essay might be a little disjointed, but so be it. I’m posting.)

When I do a google search on that phrase, I get a lot of links to political ramblings. I would have thought more people would use that phrase with reference to daily life.

The whole thing goes: Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. It sounds nice to get what you wish for, doesn’t it? But it can also be very painful.

Remember the classic stories about the genie in the bottle who grants three wishes, all of which go wrong in ways the wisher did not image because everything has an equal and opposite reaction? A wish for rain, and a rain forest on the other side of the world becomes a desert. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Appeasing your desires will not always end in tragedy, but it is possible. Of course, anything is possible even if you play it safe. Are these tales and proverbs just ways of keeping us in line and instilling a moral code?

I suppose I shouldn’t say “just” …. If we lay a Kantian categorical imperative to our actions, we quickly see that there is a pretty good reason for everyone not hopping up and doing whatever whim they desire. Who really enjoys taking out the trash? If no one did it, we would have one hell of a rat problem. If everyone who didn’t feel like going to work today played hooky, there would most likely be dire consequences across the board.

So we keep ourselves in check, for the most part. Occasionally we explore those fancies, dreams, or desires. Hopefully, indulging that hunger ends in a sense of accomplishment and relaxation and not damage or hurt.

There is a balance in the world too. Some people become dentists because they know that profession will provide a stable living but they squish their dream to become a cabaret singer. Other people follow their aspiration to become a sculptor, knowing that it is a difficult way to make a living. Satisfy the wallet, or satisfy the soul? This is a common question.

The moral dilemma is one of some cultural idea of “proper behavior”. Dreams tend to go against the grain, they are often not logical. So, how do you balance what you want to do with what you have to do? Or how do you accomplish creating a life where what you have to do is what you want to do?

What are your dreams and desires? What do you wish for? Do you kick a stable security to the curb to attain those passions? Is it dangerous or are you just afraid to take a chance? Do the foreseeable consequences outweigh what you achieve or gain? The desires that you have, once you pursue them, can you live happily with the outcome or consequences?

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