Want vs. Need

detail of sculpture, 2004, earth, ceramic

I used to love to consume in the truest sense of an American consumer.

Clothes, desserts, hair products, art supplies, cool stuff everywhere…

This particular bend in my road has other wisdom to offer.

It’s all about what do I WANT

And what do I NEED?

I told you there were riches along the way here…

Just listen:

I NEED some dentistry fast-like..

And I haven’t the funds.

Then the next day I get news of a surprise check arriving which will more than cover the bill.

A need.

Not a want.

Ok… there is this really great collar for my beloved dog I saw.

It’s a want.

Not a need.

The universe seems to support true need. But not so much want.

I’m telling you… this litmus test is very telling when one has few resources.

It feels like a boon

And, oddly, not a bore.

Of course, most of the world lives like this

Oblivious to the pseudo-pain of our fleet of elite, here,

As we all have to scale down

And face the shadows of the emptiness

We have all been trying to fill up

With stuff.

Yesterday was Sunday

And I bought myself flowers.

It was a need for me.

I thought that was interesting

That the qualities of beauty, fragrance, fragility, intense aliveness

Were NEEDS in my book.

The act of arranging them was my church.

I was humbled and elevated at the same time.

I would likely have missed that experience

Had I gone to a store, instead.


4 Responses to “Want vs. Need”

  1. Muff on June 13th, 2011

    I wrote a post about this a little while ago. I look at my want pile and realize it has been so overshadowed by my need list — accepting it is a whole other thought process, though.

  2. Elisa on June 13th, 2011

    A thought and a lesson for all of us to learn!
    Thank you Cath.

  3. Pam on June 13th, 2011

    Just what I NEEDED to read today! Thanks, Cath!
    Love you,

  4. Laura Hegfield on June 14th, 2011

    Oh Cathy this is exquisite…so much becomes simplified with the complications of chronic illness…everything is illuminated and the Universe speaks to us, shows us what is of true value and opens up to assist us in unexpected ways. But letting go of desire, not so easy for us humans especially those of us who had grown accustomed to consuming what we wanted beyond what we needed…so we learn and grow richer in our illness born (don’t want to say poverty) decline in financial assets:-)

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