Essay No. 3:
The saying “Wants Are Good Slaves But Bad Masters” reflects the reality of life. When a man becomes a slave of wants, he makes his life miserable. Life of slavery is highly despicable. Those who become addict to tea/coffee always would yearn for it in normal times.
There are writers whose pen does not move unless they take tea. Those who are used to opium or narcotics, have to have these after some interval. If they do not take heroin, they feel life slipping out of their hands. A heroin addict can go to any length to get the drug even if he were to snatch a gold ring from the ear of his sister or mother. He must get heroin without which he is like a deflated tyre.
Consumption of heroin or a drug to which one is used can put energy in one’s being temporary. The point is that those who allow wants to overpower them, attain a position of subordination in life. Wants to become their masters, while they become a slave of them. It is a very unenviable position to which one could be put in life. One should thus refrain from developing an acute type of wants in life, lest they get one’s nerves to make life miserable.
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The craze for higher living standard induces people to acquire money by hook or by crook to go in for fridges, deep freezers, cars and whatnot. Peoples’ desires have risen to unknown heights and they are out to satisfy them to have access to ultra-modern conveniences of life. While this is not a bad objective, the tragedy, however, with the people is that they do not have resources to get all that they desire. Their aspirants tend to be far higher than their means to satisfy them.
Hence tragedy commences in the life of aspirants, who find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. It is the result of permitting human wants to overtake them. The wants enslave them. They become toys in the hands of desires. Buddha preached for a diminution of human desires to lead a peaceful life. Islam also gives the same message to believers that they should reduce their desires and make them effective depending upon the availability of genuine resources. Ill-gotten resources are to be avoided under all conditions in the gratification of human desires.
Peace, the tranquility of mind demand that man should throw off the yoke of slavery of human wants. Once desires take a man in their grip, he is subjected to the position of slavery forever. Wisdom demands that desires may be kept under the control and will-power of man. Man if he so desires can yoke wants to serve his will. That’s why it is remarked that wants are good slaves but bad masters.