… fantasies have to be unrealistic. Because the moment, the second you get what you seek, you don’t, you can’t want it anymore. In order to continue to exist, desire must have it’s objects perpetually absent. It’s not the it that you want; it’s the fantasy of it. So desire supports crazy fantasies. This is what Pascal means when he says that we are only truly happy when daydreaming about future happiness. Or why we say the hunt is sweeter than the kill, or be careful what you wish for. Not because you’ll get it, because you’re doomed not to want it once you do.

So the lesson of Leccan is, living by your wants will never make you happy. What it means to be fully human is to strive to live by ideas and ideals, and not to measure your life by what you’ve attained in terms of your desires, but those small moments of integrity, compassion, rationality, even self sacrifice. Because in the end, the only way that we can measure the significance of our own lives, is by valuing the lives of others.

-- David Gale, Life of David Gale

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