De Toqueville’s insight into the human mind, although made during his visit to the USA in 1831, probably applies even more so today, as we are continually made aware of the variety of things which we “need” and experiences we cannot live without:
I have seen the freest and most educated men in the happiest circumstances the world can afford;
yet it seemed to me that a cloud hung on their brow and they appeared serious and almost sad even when they were enjoying themselves…
because they never stop thinking of the things they have not got.
[songent sans cesse aux biens qu’ils n’ont pas]
Alexis de Toqueville, French Political thinker, De la Democratie en Amerique, (1835) Chapitre XIII