Want Versus Need

When in doubt, eat fried pie. They are one of life’s blessings in terms of comfort food. These are from Mercier Orchard in North Georgia…well worth the drive. Their crust is light and flaky, enough protection for the scrumptious apple filling to come alive when it hits your taste buds. Any fruit you can imagine has been blessed to be turned into a fried pie, and they even have sugar free options which are not as disappointing as they may sound. For the calorie conscious they are a wonderful alternative. These pies never last more than 48 hours in our kitchen. It is late at night and I am hungry. I had a snack a while ago, and yet I find myself unsatisfied, so this picture is more torture than comfort. It is hard not having what you want. 

If my only problem today is an unsatisfied craving for fried pies, then I am truly blessed. Having what you need and having what you want are two different things. Knowing the difference is often the thin line between contentment and consumption. Most of us are blessed to have our daily needs met – food, shelter, clothing, abundant water, income, people to love and people who love us. We go through the day living a needless life, by that I mean we do not have to work very hard to get our basic needs met. Food is in the pantry or refrigerator, our place to live keeps us warm and dry, water comes out of the faucet, and we have multiple choices when looking for love and relationship. When we want something we do not have, then we begin to have challenges. We tell ourselves we need it, when it is probably more like a want. 

We live in a culture that tells us if we want it, then we can have it. If we can afford the payments, then we can afford it. If we can buy it, then buy it any way you can. If we want it, then we should have it…no matter what it takes to get it. Satisfy your want at all costs. Keep up, keep up to date. Out with the old, in with the new. Consumerism is not only a way of life, it can be a very terminal disease. Too much want satisfied too often leads to financial ruin, weight problems, and clutter beyond our control. Just because you work hard does not mean you deserve it, it means you work hard. Only affording the payments does not mean you can afford it, it means you can afford the payments not the item itself. 

The media will tell us anything we want to hear to justify our wants. In reality, they are simply trying to sell you something as a need, which is really a want. If you want something, don’t buy it for forty-eight hours. If after that time period you still want it, then maybe buy it. Most wants can subside after a cooling off period. It is when we yearn, and ‘want’ and crave then spend or act or speak too quickly that we get into trouble. We need water and shelter, we do not need fried pies…they are a luxury we enjoy each season after the harvest. They are a want we savor when the right time comes and alas, they never survive the 48 hour rule. 

Think today about the things you need and the things you want. Count yourself blessed if the needs are filled and the wants are what nag you. Give that want forty-eight hours and it may subside. If it doesn’t then find a fried pie to eat, enjoy it, and look forwrad to more pie next fall. 

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