Needs and wants… How many of us get the two of these confused? Do we really need a new pair of shoes, or do we want a new pair of shoes? If we spend much time online, it’s easy to understand how social media can trick us into shifting our priorities or make us think a want is really a need or at the very least… a good idea.
What are some of the things you want? What are some things you need? I’ll go first.
- Conduct a symphony orchestra
- Visit Angor Wat… but I don’t want to travel there alone
- An old stone top for an outdoor table
- The right color for my bedroom walls
- To wear high heels… again
- A “youthful” vagina… again
- The right man appears, magically, on my doorstep. (This and the previous “want” may be a chicken and the egg thing.)
- A car that has less than 220,000 miles on it
- File a homestead exemption
- Update my driver’s license (so I can file a homestead exemption)
- Get more sleep
- Stay within my budget
- Make life count
- Feel “warmer” about my next door neighbor
Except for tolerating high heels, finding Mr. Right on my doorstep and liking my neighbor, I believe I can make the other things on my list happen.
While I don’t want to make anyone—myself included—feel guilty about wanting a new outfit, a luxury trip or to erase the life lines etched across our face, I do want us to consider the often intangible things we need like…
Truth, authenticity, joy, decency, trust, love, unity, safety, confidence, insight, forgiveness, home, health, family, choices, honesty, leadership, guidance, energy, sobriety, understanding, respect, tomorrow, survival, faith, helping hand, more, less, protection, self-esteem, mentorship, light, laughter, life, appreciation, desire, adventure, time, ecstasy, experience, support, friendship, knowledge, strength, warmth, dignity, excitement, calm, prestige, change, greatness, nothing, giving back, salvation, relaxation, growth, healing, yesterday, comfort, humanity, fun, ability, goals, reality, encouragement, share, meaning, nobility, partnership, resilience, security, information, control, conversation, stimulation, culture, whimsy, relief, goodness, gratitude, freedom, recognition, God, stability, affection, thoughtfulness, second chance, happiness, normalcy, hope, power, direction, depth, reassurance, inclusion
Whenever I want a wakeup call about my “wants,” I think about my friend, Susan Tolles, who’s written many thought-provoking blog posts for 1010ParkPlace. Several posts are about the women she’s helped in Pader and Soroti, Uganda. Many were raped and beaten by Joseph Kony’s unconscionable guerrilla army or lost their husbands to horrific murders, HIV or malaria.
Now these are women who need a new pair of shoes! Perhaps we should put “helping others” on our “needs” list. There’s nothing like knowing we’ve helping someone else, because it makes us feel good as well.