Wants vs Needs
I have continued to have dialog with friends and business associates about my new found focus in the world of social enterprise. As I continue to formulate my thinking a number of pieces are starting to resonate with different individuals. The first thing is there are some people who really want to give back but don’t have the time or energy to do so. This is a function of many different elements that are unique to each situation. There are also individuals who don’t want to have the discussion at all, but that population is actually pretty small.
There seems to be a heightened level of energy being directed in the area of social enterprise and helping businesses and organizations that are trying to make the world a better place. The reality is the economy is not as good as it once was, but we still have more than we really need to survive. One of my projects over time will be to educate those that want to listen about how we can adjust our thinking to give more back than we have in the past.
Over the past few years I have been noodling on an idea for a book that would be titled “When Wants Become Needs – For very important business people.” The book would outline the difference between a want and a need and start to get people to think about what they really “need.” We spent a weekend a couple of years ago with some friends and started down the conversation of wants vs needs and I asked Noah, who was 8 at the time, what do you need? Noah responded with the words I had taught him; “I need food, water and shelter.” My next question was, “What is everything else?” Noah’s response; “a want!”
With this conversation I told my friend that my job as a parent was complete, that if my son could clearly understand the difference between a want and a need all is good in the world. My friend said that we also need love, which I agree with, so the list of needs now stands at food, water, shelter and love! Now, I know that Noah was just repeating what I told him and he really didn’t understand what I was saying, but all the same, some day he will. Our trip to Africa made it a bit clearer to him and every day we work on the difference between wants and needs. I am also clear that my job as a parent is never done.
So, how does this effect our every day lives? I believe that when you label something a “need” your happiness is dependent on obtaining that need. So, if you say I need a new car, you probably won’t be happy until you get that car. It also goes for a new job, a new house or even a new spouse. Where does it end in today’s society? There are millions of people that are unhappy because they haven’t gotten things that I might define as “wants” and they define them as “needs.”
Anyone who knows me well knows that a good day is one that we are above ground. I believe that if I wake up in the morning and I can put both feet on the ground it is a good day. Whatever happens that day, no matter how challenging, is just part of life. I will still go to bed saying it was a great day because it was one more day I had on this planet. We never know when our time will come, but I am certain that ever day is a gift. I wish that message was clear to everyone else around us.
I am sure I will have more to share about this subject in the future, but this is a start. We are working on the “story of U-TOUCH” this weekend and I believe that this message could be key to helping people understand that they need to give back and the state of the economy is not an excuse. Most people do want to give back, they just don’t know how to do it.
‘Til next time …….