Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Do You Need?

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” – Mahatma Gandhi

Depending on how you look at it “What do you need?” is either a rather innocuous question or a very profound inquiry about life.  Answering that question when it comes to basic survival is easy: food, water, and shelter.  But since when has answering life’s questions every truly been easy?  If you think about it for a few minutes, what do you really need?  When I say need, I mean what do you need to be happy, successful, content; those sorts of things. 
Now I know we’ve all heard it, or said it.  It’s that line where we say we need something because it is so awesome or cool, or it would make things so much better than they are right now.  I remember thinking when I was a teenager thinking “I need a car”, or “I need to get a Playstation.”  Yeah, it’s funny how our priorities seem so out of whack when we re-examine them years later.  I obviously didn’t need a car or a playstation; the truth is I really wanted them.  And that’s a big difference, between need and want.  Sometimes it’s hard to make the distinction.

You can look at it from this perspective.  If something is going to give you lasting inner peace, contentment, or understanding, I’d say you need it.  If something is going to provide stability and security, I’d say you need it.  If something provides a distraction, fill an emptiness brought about my envy or greed, you don’t need it, you want it.  I think too often people have wants that go unfulfilled for so long, those wants become what seem like needs because nothing else will satisfy their desire.  But that still is not need.  It is an unhealthy want.  And really, what you should strive to do is eliminate unhealthy elements in your life.  Purging those destructive and limiting wants will show you what you really need.

I’ll tell you, I want a high paying job; I want a big house; I want to take trips to Europe. I don’t need any of those things.  I need to see my daughter every day; I need to give her a hug and kiss and tell her I love her; I need to express myself, mostly through writing or I feel stifled and depressed; I need to be free to make my own choices.  I guess you can say I need mental freedom most of all.  When I weigh the pros and cons of it all, most of the stuff society tells us we need, is just stuff.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of what’s important so we don’t want for things we don’t need. 

Think about it.

Thanks for reading.  Comments and questions are welcome.

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