Saturday, February 27, 2010

want v. need

want v. need
what drives you?

oh the struggle we face daily-
the push and shove, the tug and pull, the flip and flop of WANT v. NEED

people claim to 'need' many things, when in reality we need very little. in fact we need water, food, social interaction, and sunlight to live..oh and a atmosphere that sustains human life- that would be good too. but outside of that what more do we need?

now don't you worry, this isn't going to be a rant of 'going green' or 'throwing away your attachments to all things material'...its more or less me complaining about peoples lack (or refusal) to understand the concept of them NOT needing something, but wanting it badly.

if you grew up where i did, it wasn't uncommon for mommy and daddy to pay for everything. the large portion of my friends never knew what a 'budget' was, or how to pump their own gas, and had no idea that money came from any other place other than a VISA card...not to say that they were spoiled, because i'm sure some may have appreciated the gifts their parents gave them...but i'm more inclined to believe that felt it was owed to them.

my sister and i didn't grow up like most of the kids we lived around. sure, we were given a lot (in retrospect, more than we deserved), but our parents kept that balance between want and need. we also had to pay for gas...which to me in high school was a big deal.

my sister and i always understood (mostly due to my father hammering it into our brains) "you don't need that, you merely WANT it"

and thus is life-
you don't need that girl in your life in order to be happy...but you want her.
you don't need to make more money in order to sustain your life...but you want it.

so why is there this awful stigma with wanting more??
we, (myself included) feel people who constantly want are shallow, empty, and materialistic.
we often ask of these people "can't you just be happy with what you have?"
but shouldn't we ask ourselves "why do we choose to settle?"

point being-
i want a lot of things out of life..
most of which i suppose i don't really NEED.
but should a global, US lead, recession force me to stifle my dreams?
should the era of 'cutting back' and 'conservation' mean goals as well as papers and plastics?

sure, i don't need a promotion...
i don't need a different location...
i don't need to move up in the world...

but i want to.


  1. Well said. I grew up a lot like you did. I was given things in my childhood, but I also grew up to know the value of a dollar and what it takes to buy the things you want.

    I often tell people that they don't NEED something they just WANT it, as well. lol

    I never really thought of myself as settling as far as being happy with what I have, but you have a very valid point and that is exactly what I've been doing. I will settle no more! Needs before wants always though.

    Thanks again for the wonderful blog!!

  2. I don't think anyone should take the recession as an excuse to just settle for what they can get. If we all have that ambition-less attitude we'll never get out of this trouble. On the other hand it's also very valuable to understand what exactly you need. I was out of work for 8 months or so until recently. It was awful and I wasn't accustomed to living without those things I thought I needed. It made me stronger but at the same time I didn't settle or give up and say to hell with it I'm going to just go flip burgers because I can't do any better right now. I cut back big time, learned what exactly I really do "need" and held out until I got a job where I could do the things I want. Ideally it'll all work out.

  3. Boo to # 2...yay to # 1 and # 3...

    and yes, when WE sold the car WE let her drive during high school, she actually wanted the money BACK that she paid for gas for two years while she drove it..

    seriously, she did ! but i still love her !!!

  4. Hop over to my Blog, I nominated you for an award!

  5. I'm totally with you on the boat where I was unlike my friends that I didn't get a lot from my parents. If I wanted a cell phone I paid for it. If I wanted a car I had to buy one... which is why I didn't start driving until I was 19.

    It's tough out there!