Behavior Reveals Desire, Words Conceal It

Like thirst produces the search for water, every behavior has an impetus—from the small to the significant.

If you’re thirsty, in the middle of the desert, being scorched by the sun and the blazing sand, with an empty water bottle in hand, you won’t intellectualize about water, or proclaiming to the world that you want water, or calling it dihydrogen oxide, or lamenting for not having found water. The thirst produces the urgent search for water—there’s water or there isn’t. Everything else be damned. It’s the matter of survival.

The impetus of parroting dihydrogen oxide and intellectualizing about water is likely not thirst, but something else. The impetus of intellectualizing about what you want and lamenting for not having gotten it is likely not the desire to have it, but… something else.

The desire to have a certain desire in-place is also a desire. Imagine sitting beside a drinkable fountain, wishing to be thirsty, intellectualizing about strategies to be thirsty, lamenting to passerby for not being thirsty. “Silly,” you might think. It’s silly. The world is full of silliness. Sentences that start with “I want…” are likely the silliest things of all.