Wanting and needing

During and after a Beltane meditation, the difference between needing and wanting came up. If you don’t have a lot of money then the question of do you need something or do you just want something can often cause quite a lot of argument between people.

In today’s world we all seem to want everything that is available for us to buy and many people get into debt because they feel they have to have what they want. As I’ve grown older and delved deeper into my spiritual side, I now find the decision of needing something much easier to deal with. But for many this kind of decision is much harder. Of course, the wanting or needing something can apply to jobs, holidays and other things such as relationships as well as the purchase of material goods.

There are other ways of looking at this kind of choice but you have to be honest with yourself. You can look at the ethical side of the holiday or goods that you buy. Do you really need whatever it is? Why do you need it? Is it a good buy or the kind of bargain that falls apart after a few weeks?

I was brought up with parents who believed that you bought nothing until you had saved enough money to buy it. The only exclusion to this was the mortgage on the house. There was always enough food despite the post-war rationing and my mother made my clothes as well as her own. My father grew vegetables in the garden and enjoyed walking in the local parks. We had no TV so there were no adverts to try to persuade us to buy things we did not need or even want. There is so much pressure today to buy things we don’t need, to take holidays abroad and to do things we don’t really want to do.

Does your respect for others and our natural world influence what you buy and how do you choose whether it is a need or a want? Does your spiritual path influence this as well?

I’d love to hear your ideas on this theme. This mornings photo is of the trees at the back of my garden just coming into leaf. They give me hope for the changes in the world that I would like to see.

springtrees

 

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One thought on “Wanting and needing

  1. I emerged into the world of work at the beginning of the 1980s and straight into the full force of the ‘you are what you earn/own’ culture. I bought into the concept that I could buy my happiness. I’m rather ashamed at how long it took me to see through all that, and to admit how much time and money I wasted in the process. But at least I have woken up to the whole consumer society scam and am living a much happier life with far less stuff and very different aspirations. My hope now is to guide my children through the minefield, because it still seems to me that they are being lined up as consumer fodder for the future.

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