April 8th, 2010
Hello everyone and welcome to The Thursday Blog, packed full of excitement, action and an array of soft cheeses.
Well what a week it has been. I woke up on Friday morning sick as a dog, but still managed to drive 1000km (625 miles) to sunny Brisbane. We have had a great week, relaxing, catching up with family and blowing my nose and coughing. Now it is coming to the end of our stay and I face another 1000kms ahead and a loss of internet connection so I better get this post up quickly.
Last Wednesday night when I had allotted my time to construct last week’s episode is when I came down with the sickness so instead of airing my episode I sent it out to the people to see what they thought. The result was amazing and you need to go and read them and then start following their blogs as they are impressive thinkers.
So here is my take on last week’s question of Needs vs Wants – Which is greater? You may be thinking that I should have added this in a comment last week but I have the microphone so I can do what I want in this week’s episode:
Needs vs. Wants – A need way of thinking
I was brought up with a lot of wisdom from my parents. One thing they tried to engrain into me is that there is a difference between needs and wants. So when I was looking at using my entire 15 years worth of life savings, all $205, on a CD player, I was given the teaching on needs and wants. I worked out after a series of teachings that I didn’t need a CD player but that didn’t mean I couldn’t get it. I also figured that there wasn’t much that I needed being 15 and living at home. Then I deduced that I could save for something better like a car when I turn 17…but then scrapped that idea seeing that it took 15 years to save $205 (so that meant I could buy a car at the age of 71!). However, I realised that even though I didn’t need a CD player, I still wanted one and was willing to pay the cost. So I bought it.
This is what we have been taught for years. Fulfil your needs, then if it is possible, go and get some wants that aren’t too selfish. Work hard to put food on the table and if you are lucky you may get dessert. My father who has worked hard all his life to provide for a wife and six children is now a bit older. His house is paid off, he is close to retirement, all children are independent; and he is at a stage where his needs are small and finally he can look at some wants. He jokes, saying “Finally when I can afford a steak, I don’t have the teeth to eat it.”
Assuming that needs are greater than wants in the area of money, is the same in the area of relationships.
It is very romantic to be able to say “I need you because life has no colour without you” but is this the level we need to get to?
Most people think that the pinnacle of a spiritual relationship with God is to be fully dependant on Him. They strive to get to a point where they totally need Him, they can’t live without Him, they cannot get up, they cannot go to sleep, they can’t eat or drink unless He is with them. This type of need is the ultimate, or is it?
To need something points all the attention at one thing – you. You need food because you will die without it. You need shelter because you will get sick without it. You need friends because you’re emotionally inadequate without them. You need money because you can’t live life without it. All of these needs point to the person who is in need and at the consequences that will happen if they are not met. Needs are always about the person – they can’t by definition be about someone else.
Wants on the other hand are more flexible. A want can be totally fuelled by self-centredness but can also be totally about another person. A person doesn’t need to give money to feed the poor but they want to. Yes it may be because they want to feel good about themselves, but that want has the potential to be purely about helping the other person.
This is where we should be striving to take our relationships. To build them to a place where you want the relationship to prosper so much (in a healthy way) that even your needs like food and sleep will not take priority.
Seeing this week was Easter, I would like to finish with a line for those amazing Christian readers out there who just celebrated the most holy of holidays.
God doesn’t need you, He wants you! Learn to want him back!