How many of us were raised with the saying, “You got your wants and you got your needs!” Especially as a child I remember wanting things and saying I needed them. I was corrected often, as I should have been. A great majority of our culture is wrapped up in wants not needs. Then there are those who have basic needs that are not met.
Our American culture elicites the want and desire of materialism with every ad, commercal, magazine, movie, and form of media. We are told that our wants are credible needs. We need a better car, we are entitled to that Disney Cruise, we deserve the best of everything. Advertisments have warped our understanding of the difference between the two and left us feeling empty if we don’t have those wants fulfilled. However, what they don’t explain is how empty one feels about a month after the newest “thing” has been purchased. But that’s ok because the next great thing will be out on the shelves by that time.
I believe some of our most basic needs are food, water, shelter, security, education, love, relationships, and the ability to use our talents to work. The other stuff is stuff. We need to pay our bills, but do we know exactly what we are paying for is needed? We need to have shelter, but does it need to be a $300,000 home? We need to have some type of transportation to get to work and other areas, but does it need to be a brand new car?
As Americans we should reflect on our wants and our needs often, least we get trapped into the materialistic mentality that is expected of us. Today, consider what you need and what you want. Then read this quote and reflect on it for awhile.
“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” – Vernon Howard