I’ve been feeling rather philosophical lately.
When I first interviewed for a programmer position a number of years ago, I was asked why I wanted to work for the company. I pondered the question for a while and then answered with something along the lines of:
I’m not sure that I do. Can you tell me why I should want to work for you?
At the time, I wanted for nothing. I lived in a small apartment in the city and I had enough money to support my (admittedly frugal) lifestyle. I could pursue my own interests, and I only wanted to undertake interesting work.
I ended up working for the company, and it was a worthwhile experience. I made a lot of friends, I learnt a lot about myself, and I learnt a lot about team leadership.
During that time, I also realised that the things I wanted were very difficult to obtain.
I wanted for others to challenge themselves, achieve their goals, and to be recognised for their achievements. I wanted for people to do the right thing and to be happy and fulfilled. More than anything, I wanted others to feel the same.
Today (while sorting through old files), I again felt that I wanted for nothing.
However, this time my thoughts had a very different meaning. I wasn’t thinking that there were no necessities that I lacked. Rather, I was actively yearning to have nothing.
Looking at old photos and documents made me feel weighed down. Memories and experiences aren’t meant to be relived over and over, or held so tightly. They simply live on as part of who you are today.
I’m sure that a philosopher once said something like:
Holding onto things ensures that your hands are always full, making it difficult to reach out to others and to grasp new opportunities.
Pragmatically, I don’t want nothing. I just don’t want to hold onto things unnecessarily. Everything is transient and there’s no point in holding onto things beyond their term.
There’s a great elegance and calmness in minimalism, and I yearn for it deeply.