Needs (Letters to My Daughter #atozchallenge)
I love you unconditionally.
I Need you to know something about life. Wait… do I really “need” you to know what I am about to tell you? Or do I “want” you to know what I am about to tell you.
I definitely want you to know, because needs are very specifically linked to survival. Simply put; needs are the things we need to continue living.
While some needs are universal, like water, food, air, and shelter from the elements — unless you live in the Virgin Islands. There are other needs that each of us need for survival. I can think of one that should be considered universal, and that’s LOVE. Then there are some needs that we have as individuals that more relate to our individual happiness and mental health.
One of the individual needs I have, is the need to create, which if left unfulfilled for too long can cause damage to my mental health and ability to function properly within this world.
That’s just one example of one need that may not apply to other people.
Your needs are so important, but I must advise caution when using the term “need”, because it can easily be misinterpreted into a “want”. They are not the same thing, and confusing the two can lead to a life of disappointment, or hardships if the “wants” are pursued with recklessness.
Basically, wants can put needs in danger.
The first example that comes to me is a hypothetical one. Let’s say that a man –Chuck, we’ll call him– has a baby on the way with his wife, and they “need” a larger house to accommodate the new addition to their family.
Chuck and his wife have a decent amount of money saved, and when they sell their current house will be able to comfortably afford a new house with an extra bedroom for the baby. Then Chuck realizes that they will “need” a guest room for guest too. So, a house with two extra bedrooms. Then he realize that he and his wife really “need” a office in their home to do work from home when needed. Then he realizes he will need a pool so the kids can enjoy making family memories at home. He also realizes that he really needs a shop to work on building things or fixing cars, so an additional garage would be needed.
After much searching they find a home that meets their “needs”. It’s out of their price range, but they really need those accomadtions. So, they buy it, and become was is known as house poor. They have barely enough money to get by each month, and are now unable to save, but at least they have everything they need.
Then… ole Chuck is laid off from work after his company makes major cut backs. A sad horrible thing in it’s own right, but the worst is too come…
Chuck cannot pay the bills. They spent all of their savings, and he no longer has an income. They lose the house that they needed. They have to move into a one bedroom apartment. Now they are scrapping by as he works part time jobs until he finds a permenant position. Two adults, and two children in a one bedroom apartment. Yikes!
The moral of the story is that we can skew what we think we need, with what we really want. It can affect our decision making, and determine whether we are content in life.
If we think we are missing something that we need, then how can anyone feel satisfied with their current situation? This strong desire to obtain these “needs” can cause a person to live a life of unsatisfaction.
Your mother and I (and you), have everything that we possibly need. Do we want more? Sure. But we do not focus on the wants continually, so much so that they become needs in our minds, because then we forget how much we already have.
I have God, life, love, food, water, shelter, clothes, and my health. I have everything I need. I am one happy and blessed man.
I want you to be happy, and feel blessed. Focus on your true needs, and let your wants be wants. If you don’t need something and only want it, then you can objectively decide whether or not it is something you should chase after.
Trust me when I say that confusing the two can cause a lot of stress, heartache, and regret. Life is beautiful when you have everything you need.