At Progress School we got into a conversation about wants and needs, and the role they play in shaping our reality and our future.
A need is something that we must have in order to survive. Shelter, food, warmth, love, meaning, purpose. Without these we face misery and a premature death. Needs are relatively limited – though some can be illusive.
Not all of them can be bought.
Wants on the other hand are things that you would like to possess, now or in the future. Wants are unlimited and are a bit of dream for sales folk. There is always something else to want. And we are socialised, taught to want.
Because most of what we want does not relate to a need we often keep on wanting and are never satisfied. Our wants can displace our attention from our needs for meaning and purpose, belonging and love. We might want stuff to compensate for the absence of these things.
So when planning Progress ask your self is this a want or a need? Personally I think there is nothing wrong with wanting and getting stuff. as long as it is done with awareness. But if we focus on meeting our deep human needs and those of our friends and neighbours then perhaps we will achieve a much greater sense of joy and wellbeing?