Acceptance Versus Desire2 min read

There is a different between acceptance and desire. I don’t think that is controversial.

I am amazed at how often the two get confused.


If I accept something, it may mean that I don’t want to put in an effort to change it. It also may mean that I cannot change it.

Acceptance requires a lot of work. It is not easy to accept some things. People see therapists to accept things that are hurting them.

When I accept something as it is, I am making a value judgement. I might be saying that it is useful to me as it is. I might also be saying that the cost of changing it is too high.

Acceptance almost always has little to do with desire.


When someone desires something, they are willing to pay a great cost for it. Their judgement is that the value of what they desire is high.

Desiring something is what drives society. People desire many things. Desire drives the economy. Desire drives relationships. Desire drives our positive internal motivations.

Without desire, we would not be humans.

Desire Versus Avoidance

Many things that people seem to attribute people to desiring they may merely be accepting. If I look at my wall and want to patch a piece of drywall, I desire the restored aesthetic. Desire drives that need to repair the drywall. If I don’t repair it, I am accepting it as it is. It means the cost is too high to fulfill my desire at that time.


People seem to ascribe desire to people’s actions on inactions. Acceptance is more likely.

If I don’t make it a high priority to return a man to the moon, I am accepting the current state of being. I may desire someone being on the moon again, but I do not desire it enough to pay the cost. It isn’t that I desire humans to never return to the moon. It is that I don’t desire it enough to pay the cost.

This basic thinking can help you look at someone’s morals. If they don’t desire something enough to pay the cost, you should ask them what they perceive the cost as being.

Perhaps they are wrong?

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