“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Mae West
Indeed, Mae, indeed. So which is it, “quantity or quality?” asked the girl with commitment issues. Decision?
Both. In both there is a measured enough. Plus considering the option is a good exercise to know what you truly value.
If it’s quality you desire, satisfaction is your measure. Your sense memory holds an enduring, satiated state. Your standard has been met. You feel calm in being aware of, knowing and appreciating quality.
On the other side of the coin, the satisfaction in quantity also holds a feeling of contentment. Your experience and satisfaction remain in the sense memory. If quantity is your standard, you feel the equivalent state of calm and an awareness of and appreciation for the quantity enjoyed.
Our daily lives are filled with quantity and quality choices, some without great consequence like premium or regular gas, vending machine chips now or veggies when you get home, cleaning the bathroom for company with a quick wipe or deep disinfecting. Other quality and quantity choices with greater consequence might be to save years for a rainy day or for a big purchase or spend a little money regularly on small enjoyments, take a job you hate for big bucks or do work you love with other rewards or wait for Mr./Ms Right verses take Mr./Ms Right Now and now and now? Every choice has consequences.
Choosing quality in life is great. Of course, it will edit what you bring into your life. Limiting your own choices may be worth it, even if satisfaction is delayed. If you don’t achieve the same measured satisfaction in quantity and are left longing for the quality, it’s worth the wait, unless your measure of quality was wrong.
Quantity definitely has its benefits. Variety is the spice of life, they say. Life is finite so getting as much as you can out of it is great. In quantity there is less regard for delayed gratification, which might not be worth the wait and might never come. And quantity may be the route to finding what one truly wants, even if what one wants is quantity, unless you missed the quality filling up with quantity.
In either case, desire rooted in envy, gluttony, greed, anger, pride, laziness or lust (the seven deadly sins) is poisoned and will never fully fill your wish, void or desire. Nothing good comes long term from those seven deadly sins and there are always negative consequences. (I have this theory about karma that the longer it takes for bad deeds to catch up to you, the worse your karma. Think O.J. Simpson. If I commit a small wrong and get payback in the same day, I am simply grateful for the lesson.) Materialism is our culture’s best example of bathing in the deadly sins and encompasses at least five of them. I’ve never known anyone driven by materialism who isn’t substituting for a deeper, inner desire for which neither quantity or quality will ever be met.
The choice of quantity or quality is the road diverging in Robert Frost’s yellow wood but which for you is the one less traveled and, therefore, the one that makes all the difference? Can you achieve the perfect blend of both? I don’t think anyone can tell someone else what is right for them. Perhaps the right choices is feeling a happy medium, in which case Mae just might have a point.