Practical Abundance: The Difference Between Want and Need

"Expect your every need to be met. Expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level"

- Eileen Caddy

 For those who choose to listen to the news or read the newspaper it is apparent that the word economy comes up ad nauseum.  Flanking that are recession and debt.  Is it topical or has the financial picture both personal and national become the major topic of conversation?  More so, is the answer important?  Well, it is if we think to create a life that serves us.  Anyone who has spent time reading this blog knows that all thoughts have power, immense power,  Thoughts are reality.  Each idea is in its own right, a reality.  We create or destroy with every thought.

In regards to finances, personal or national, our thoughts about abundance are greatly hindered when we hear about constant economic woe.  What would think if you were told that there is no such thing as want?  Would you believe it?  You wouldn’t if you’re surrounded by people constantly telling you there is not enough.  But there is enough.  And there always will be.  But before you begin to embrace that thought it is helpful to define what is enough.

For those living in the United States ( and other places certainly ) it is clear we do not have a realistic idea of what is enough.  Everywhere we turn there are ads aimed at selling us bigger cars, bigger homes and well, just bigger in general.  And not just bigger, but more.  The definition of need has mutated drastically.  Want and need have become synonymous.  What are our needs.

The simplest list involves merely three items: food , water and shelter.  We each realize there is more to life than just existing but this simple list puts our topic into perspective.  Translation is the biggest key for determining the difference between need and want.  The average american, based on medical research, should consume roughly 2000 calories a day.  Certainly that differs for smaller americans; but not for larger ones.  Today the average calorie intake is 2400 calories. That is 20% more than is necessary. So the “translation” causes the cloudiness regarding need.

How so? Well, we already determined that food is a need.  So people eat.

“I have to eat to stay alive.”

Many flatly express. But the gauge of how much is left out.  Food, any food, in any amount, is needed to stay alive.  At least that is the perception.  But that is a misperception and the translation causes the discrepancy between need and want.  The need is for a certain amount of food to sustain activity and thought.  The want is to eat more than is needed.  The “need” amount is to sustain life.  The want amount is to sustain comfort, gluttony and perceived happiness, to name a few.

And again the word need has become wildly abused.  It isn’t relative to essentials of life.

“I need a bigger car.”

Some of us have heard our peers say that.  Some of us may have even said it ourselves.  But guess what? Not only is a bigger car not a need, but a car altogether is not a need. It is a want.  A want to make our lives simpler.  If you did not have a car you would not perish.  Ask the billions of people without a car, walking the earth (literally walking) if a car is a need.  The fact that they can answer is the answer right there.

So need is life and want is comfort.  Make note of that.  More to the point, choose your words carefully.  Because getting back to our original premise, words have power.  If we wish to experience need then all we have to do is to continue to express need and want.  That expression of need becomes part of who we are and our reality is born of that thought.  Express need and need is what you will experience.  Express abundance and gratitude for what you have and that reality will form accordingly.

So if need is life and want is comfort then is it possible to have comfort without want?  It most certainly is.  Comfort resides in our hearts and in our minds.  It does not exist in 400 extra calories, a bigger car or a six pack of beer.

And let us be truly honest.  With some exceptions, anyone reading this blog on a computer may not truly know what want is at this moment.  Furthermore, when was the last time we were hungry; not wanted to eat, but truly hungry.  If we can remember our last meal then chances are we are not too accustom to hunger.  It is the hope that those in reading this blog will never truly experience need as we have defined it.  It is the hope that no one ever experience need.  But sadly, that hope is not yet a reality.

Many people experience true need on a daily basis.  Many go to bed hungry.  And while this expression may not be the brightest way to end a blog there is an alternative.  Express gratitude for the things for things you have.  Express thanks for having food, any food.  Express that gratitude for those who are kind enough to share what they have with you, whether it is food, shelter and most of all Love.  And express it in the grandest way possible.  Give. Give freely and from the heart.  Give without concern of get.  When we reach out to those who truly are in need then we create a new reality, a beautiful reality.  A reality where it is certain that we are all one and we have all that we could ever hope for.


Thom WaltersComment