When the Line Between Basic Needs and Wants Become Blurred
People have different views of exactly what "need" means. We live in such a materialistic world that the line between need and want becomes blurred.
Once upon a time, need was simply having food in our bellies, clothing to protect us from the elements, and shelter from whatever nature throws our way. This is a time before money and the illusion of needing more influenced society. Now most people have more bills than they can afford. They compete to have more than their neighbor does. In turn they tend to work longer and harder, yet still feel tired and empty in the end. Many times they try to convince themselves that they are providing a better life for themselves and their families, but they don't have time to enjoy what they have accumulated. So what is the point of competing for more material wealth?
It is more difficult to survive in the 21st century that it was a couple of hundred years ago. Life was fairly simple then. As money became increasingly more important and well meaning inventors began inventing ways to "make life easier", life began to get more complicated. Although it is nice to have things such as electricity, telephones, televisions, and more, we shouldn't have to need these things to survive. Humanity survived long before these things came about. Now you can't cook without utilities, not to mention Child Protective Services would swoop in to confiscate your children if you didn't have utilities. I guess this means our ancestors were bad parents.
Food is another issue. We used to grow our own foods and hunt for meat. Now people are so reliant upon grocery stores. In fact, recently when a city lost its power due to a storm. All of the grocery stores were shut down for about a week. This sent many people into a panic. Most of them no longer had a food source.
Growing your own food is much cheaper than your grocery bill; it's healthier too. However, it isn't as easy to do in the 21st century. A bill has passed, via Executive Orders, allowing the US government to seize any farm or even small homesteads in times of need or as they deem fit. Some states and cities have gone a step further by making it illegal to grow your own food in your yard.
Even still, I was saddened recently to find out that even the government has the right to determine how our food is grown. In fact, Monsanto has patented most seeds making it practically illegal to save seeds and grow food from these saved seeds. The harass farmers all the time, requiring farmers to buy new seed each season instead of using the seed they have collected from crops.
Also, with the FDA requiring more additives, chemicals, and hormones to be added to our food supply, it is no wonder why there is an increase in illness and disease. We are getting to an age where the simple needs in life are more complicated to achieve. This makes my heart heavy with despair. I wonder what is in store for future generations. Our basic needs are being replaced by a modern society's illusion of what is necessary.
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Today it appears that one's self worth is based upon how much you own not by who you are as individual. Stop and think for a moment. Is your new high-tech phone or big, flat-screen television more important than your family or humanity in general? Upon your death there will be squabbles over your belongings. This is because we as a society have been programmed to be greedy.
As I sat outside to write this originally, I was staring into the woods. I could hear the birds happily chirping away. I stopped to watch them and realize how uncomplicated their life is. Their needs are basic just as ours are or should be. They are only concerned with food, socialization, and shelter when the need arises. Even still, some birds are solitary and happy being as such. I watch how blissful these birds are in their freedom. How happy are you throughout your day as you work to earn the money to hopefully feed and provide for your family? What would happen if you lost your job? Then what would you do? Life shouldn't be this complicated.
Clothing is another issue. We all need clothing, but how much is too much? We really don't need a small store of clothing to survive. We have become a gluttonous society. Even housing has changed. The bigger the house, the better is the attitude. Of course people need a larger house, so they will have room to house all of the things that aren't actually a necessity.
My suggestion to anyone reading this is to simplify your needs. Teach your children to simplify their needs. Everything else is a luxury and should be appreciated as it comes. Understand that life isn't about high-tech devices or how much you have accumulated in your possession. It is about basic essentials of having enough food to survive, clothes on your back, and shelter from the forces of nature. Not everyone has these things. People are dying because most people do not care about anyone else but themselves. They would much rather buy a hot tub than help out someone who is starving or has no shelter at all. I pray daily that more people of the world will wake up to this. As much money that has been handed out in stimulus packages, it could have fed and provided shelter to many people across the nation. The problem is, many people can't distinguish between a need and a want.
© 2014 Linda Soaring Eagle Sarhan