En-gage: Needwant

needwantAs humans, we all have needs. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy begins with physiological needs and moves up to the need of self-actualization.

What is need?

Need (v.): require (something) because it is essential or very important; synonym–want.

Need (n.): circumstances in which something is necessary, or requires some course of action; a think that is a want.

These definitions don’t seem quite right. Sure, a need can be something we want, but the two are not explicit.

Want (v.): have a desire to posses or do something; wish for.

Want (n.): a desire for something.

wish  demand  longing  yearning  fancy  craving

These are all words associated with want. Frequently, we wish, demand, long for, yearn for, fancy, and crave something we need, but when we have what we need, we are left wanting more.

Physiological needs are seen as the most important. Air, water, food, clothing, and shelter fall into this category. Since air is free and water is pretty accessible, we’re going move on.

Food (n.): any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and grow.

I do not need a steak to maintain my life and grow, but sometimes I want one.

I do not need to cook for myself, but I en-joy–I want–to.

I do not need to but food that is fair trade and sustainable, but I want to know my food isn’t pumped with chemicals or having negative effects on the environment.

Clothing (n.): items worn to cover the body.

I do not need $140 boots to keep my feet dry–I could buy ones that cost far less–but I want these particular boots.

Shelter (n.): a place giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger.

I do not need my own apartment, but I want a space that’s just mine.

I need something to sleep on and keep me warm, but I do not need a king sized bed.

Wants are expensive versions of needs. I can satisfy my basic needs, but when wants are influencing needs, it’s hard to recognize what one truly needs. The “basic” food, clothes, and shelter are increasingly hard to procure. I am left wondering how to balance needs/wants. Depriving yourself of things you want may cause may contribute to stress and low self-esteem, but how can we establish more realistic needs when society constantly combines needs with wants?

Needwants have no clear definition and seemed to be filled with desire.


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