Andy Rooney on Too Much Desire

Would You Take a Pill To Curb Excessive Human Desire?

This commentary was first published on April 18, 2010.

Why is it, I often say to myself, that most of us have a desire to eat more than we need? Whether we're having peanut butter on toast or leftover rice, we eat more than we need to keep our bodies going for the rest of the day.

It seems as though one serious and constant defect in the human character is desire. We have more desire for almost everything than we need. People have more desire for sex than the world needs to populate it.

Just about all of us have this great desire to make more money than we need to live comfortably on.

Many of us can't stay away from the stores where we buy stuff. We have this great desire to buy and acquire more possessions than we can use.

Can't something be done about this?

Those thoughts occurred to me recently when I brought my lunch up here to my desk from the cafeteria downstairs. I ate what I had then; I wanted a cookie so I went back downstairs and bought two cookies, not because I was hungry but because I desired the good taste of cookies.

Maybe what some of us need from the medical profession is an anti-desire pill. If we had a desire for too much food, money, sex, sleep or a thousand other things, we could just take this pill and it would hopefully kill the desire for whatever it was that we didn't need.

If they ever invent the anti-desire pill, I'm going to take one before I sit down in front of the television set every night because I always end up watching a lot of stuff I'm not interested in.

Written by Andy Rooney