The major difference between a want and a need is that, generally, we can live without a want but we can’t live without a need.
So, we need oxygen. We need water. We need food. We need shelter.
But what if you have wants that have become so vital that they fall over into the need category. You need the internet, because without it, you couldn’t keep in contact with your snail mail retarded younger family members. You need moisturiser because otherwise your skin is like leather. You need coffee….just because everyone needs coffee, or at least tea.
We live in a world of out of control consumerism. You may THINK you need a TV in every room, you don’t, but you might actually need a bathroom for everyone in the house to prevent war.
Where are the new lines in the sand?
Recently I conducted a survey amongst sixty 5 Star Hotel executives to find out what they thought they needed. Before the survey, I showed them this…..
Then I asked them to add to the list. The usual hilarity of ‘an iPhone, my car, my new girlfriend’ emerged, but then so did ‘my job, a pay rise, travel’.
Money seemed to dominate. Somehow, we all need more money, even though we might have enough to live on if we didn’t ‘need’ that holiday abroad. But maybe we actually need that trip, for our mental health, for our sanity.
I need my laptop. Without it, I’m sunk. But what if, one day, I awoke to find that lap tops no longer existed? What would happen then? Would I die?
What would happen to you if smart phones were no longer, and you had to go back to rotary phones stuck to a wall? Would you cease to exist? Would the World stop turning?
We need modern medicine, but we don’t NEED plastic surgeons, or do we?
What about people who get injured in fires? They need them.
What used to happen before the advent of facial reconstruction?
We don’t need high heel shoes, but we need shoes. Or do we? In cold climates, or places with rough terrain, yes. But in warm climates where the Earth is less harsh, no, we really don’t.
We want to be comfortable, we need to be safe. And yet, is safety on our list of modern needs, and if it is, how does this explain gun ownership, and the proliferation of rape and war?
If we REALLY needed to be safe, why are we paying so little attention to making safety, and peace, a priority?
We need to be happy. What makes us happy? Is it time with friends and family. Is it always happy time? If your family stress you out, you don’t need that.
We need job satisfaction, and yet far too many of us spend our lives clocking in and taking money for 8 hours of drudgery and dissatisfaction.
What we say we want, what we say we need, are often at the juxtaposition of what we ACTUALLY want and what we ACTUALLY need, and therein lays the rub.
Break it down, and the only things we REALLY need are in the pyramid on the bottom level.
From there on up are things we need, but sometimes ignore or replace with things others tell us we need.
We need sexual intimacy, but we will settle for porn. We need friendship, but we will settle for online chat. We need health, but we will swap that out for too many beers and perhaps some sugary, fatty food and a pill or two for good measure.
We want to live a long time, so we will do a bit of what we need to aid that, and rely on medicine to do the rest. Big night out? Berrocca and a painkiller.
We want immediate gratification, we need personal fulfillments, these things do not necessarily go hand in hand.
We like instant Karma and instant results.
We want what, we want now, what we need may take time. Ain’t nobody got time. We have no need for things that hold us back. Even if being held back on something is what we actually need. Kids who fail in school these days are pushed forward regardless. They need the extra time to grow into the grade they are in, they will not get it. We do not wait.
Is the inner you asking for something, and the external you providing a quick fix instead of a considered response?
Perhaps the thing you really need is a little more kindness, towards others and, most importantly, towards yourself.
In all honesty, you can live without the latest gadget, you can.
What you can’t live without, in the long run, is knowing who you truly are.
So what do you want?
And do you really want it?
Or do you need it?
#CONSUMERISM #TECHNOLOGY #MONEY #CULTURE