For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.
What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree, and it is from its nature only possible as an episodic phenomenon.[Was man im strengsten Sinne Glück heißt, entspringt der eher plötzlichen Befriedigung hoch aufgestauter Bedürfnisse und ist seiner Natur nach nur als episodisches Phänomen möglich.]
What I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.
Delight is to him—a far, far upward, and inward delight—who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self.
Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter.
There is no satisfaction in vengeance unless the offender has time to realise who it is that strikes him, and why retribution has come upon him.
The feeling of the law, the satisfaction of being right, the joy of selfesteem, cher Monsieur, are powerful incentives to keep us upright or make us move forward. On the other hand, if you deprive men of them, you transform them into dogs frothing with rage.[Le sentiment du droit, la satisfaction d’avoir raison, la joie de s’estimer soi-même, cher monsieur, sont des ressorts puissants pour nous tenir debout ou nous faire avancer. Au contraire, si vous en privez les hommes, vous les transformez en chiens écumants.]
People are never satisfied. If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.[As pessoas nunca estão satisfeitas com nada. Se têm pouco, querem muito. Se têm muito, querem ainda mais. Se têm ainda mais, desejam ser felizes com pouco, mas são incapazes de fazer qualquer esforço nesse sentido.]
Our entire society’s based on discontent: people wanting more and more and more, being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their decor, their clothes, everything. Taking it for granted that that’s the whole point of life, never to be satisfied. If you’re perfectly happy with what you’ve got—specially if what you’ve got isn’t even all that spectacular—then you’re dangerous. You’re breaking all the rules, you’re undermining the sacred economy, you’re challenging every assumption that society’s built on.
No one is ever satisfied where he is.[translation by Richard Howard]No one is ever satisfied where he is.[translation by Katherine Woods][On n’est jamais content là où l’on est.]