Needs and wants are perhaps even more significant a topic at this time of year. Every year I am faced with getting my husband both birthday and Christmas presents. This strains my brain to figure out what he “wants” or “needs”.
Gifts of need or want?
never knowing what to buy
A strain on my brain
Then yesterday I received this comment from a “linkedin” friend:
“You seem like a lady who has everything?
I wonder…what do you want for
At first, I wondered what I had said in a post or comment to give the impression that I had everything?
Humph, All I want is water
Then I wondered if I really take the time to think about the distinction between what I need and what I want.
Then I thought about Ida who has to weigh this question daily since she is, out of necessity, forced to survive on the bare minimum.
Susan Gammage wrote an excellent post on the topic. It’s too long to repost but here’s how it starts:
“Recently I was listening to a podcast on our relationship to money by my favorite minister, Jeremy McClung of the Muskoka Community Church, which left me asking the question: When is enough, enough? This is an important question to ask especially at this season of excess we call Christmas.”
“In his talk, Jeremy handed out index cards and asked us to write “stuff I have” on one side and to write “stuff I want” on the other. We were to make a detailed list of everything we own (land, cars, houses, clothes, electronics, appliances, toys etc)”.
“What surprised me was how much was on my “want” side! Even though I have everything I need, and more, the list of what I wanted was longer than the list of what I owned. This was profound! I urge you to take out a sheet of paper right now and do this exercise for yourself.”
“My income comes from a small disability pension, supplemented by some paid work, and I live in a small one bedroom apartment in a “geared to income” building. Some people look at my lifestyle and long for me to be better off financially, and sometimes I wonder if they’re right.
My well-wishers see the transformative path I’ve been on for the past couple of decades, and how far I’ve come in ridding myself of the anxiety and depression that robbed me of my life, and they think it’s time for me to get back into the “real world” and get paid for all the work I do.
Susan citing the following REALLY got my attention:
If you could fit the entire population of the world into a village consisting of 100 people, maintaining the proportions of all the people living on Earth, that village would consist of:
Dear Linkedin Friend, Thank you for asking.
My greedy little ego will probably never be satisfied.
My soul tells me I have everything I need.
Humph, All I need is water.