I Want What I Need
When I was growing up I wanted all kinds of things. Usually they were the type of things that would fulfill a small desire, and then never be used again. I’m sure you know the kind of things I’m talking about. One of those things on one occasion was a metal hook. Now I wasn’t your average kid. Most kids go to the grocery store with their mom and beg her for some candy at the checkout isle. I on the other hand, would accompany my mom to Home Depot. On one particular occasion I was following her around and spotted a large shiny utility hook. I begged her, mom please can I have that hook, I really want the hook mom, please! She gave in and I took it home, tied a rope to it, and climbed a tree in my backyard for the rest of the day with my new grappling hook! Then at the end of the day, or week, it would find a place on a shelf in the garage and never be seen again.
Since my childhood I have come to realize that many of the things we have, we really don’t need. At my house I have all kinds of different things that just take up space. Whether its food in the back of the cupboard, or a shirt under my bed wedged between some boxes, I could go without it. So why do I have it? I live in a very blessed nation, so I have an excess of my needs. This is why I believe that my wants, usually are not needs.
That belief was reconfirmed over the last few years as I lived in the poor country of Madagascar. As I learned about their culture and interacted with the people, I realized that most of their wants would never be fulfilled. But that doesn’t bother them, because for the most part they have what they need. Malagasy children love soccer. Every kid there wants a nice new soccer ball to kick around. However, they can fulfill their wants with something less, which still satisfies the want. For example: collecting plastic bags and garbage off the street, tying it together in a ball, and playing soccer.
Most of the time the things I want, are things that I will only use temporarily. They are things that I could get by settling or being creative. Living in Madagascar really helped to confirm my belief. I will now try to only buy what I need and not waste anything. I have tried to make my needs my wants. When I do this it helps me to be more creative and resourceful. Overall things seem to run smoother when I don’t focus on things I want, but focus on what I really need.