Needs vs Wants (part 4)

Before we attempt to shrink our ecological footprint we must first acknowledge the fact that we  are personally responsible for allowing ourselves to become over-the-top consumers. We took the bait called ‘easy money’ and ran with it. When the credit card society was formed many of us dove in and allowed ourselves to drown in debt. Well, the fact that we started it means that we can also finish it by reining ourselves in and applying a little self control.

The first thing we must do is make an honest assessment as to our needs vs our wants, remembering that for most of our lives we have been taught to pretty much want everything, whether we needed it or not. Like dopers on withdrawal, by damn, we had to have it! Time to face the fact that many of us have become addicted to borrowing and spending and living beyond our means.

Now there is no cause to go nuts about all this and toss perfectly good stuff into the trash can. We just have to be careful of our future purchases. We may even surprise ourselves as to how little we actually need to be content.

This is a goal to work towards for no other reason than to prove to ourselves that we are serious about cutting back and getting out of debt. We need to know we are not just continuing along that phoney fad highway that Gore started in order to sell a book. Doing all this won’t make much of a difference to the overall picture, but it will sure make us feel good and help us dedicate our effort towards doing the bigger things.

When I was a kid in the housing projects none of us kids had much of anything. For Christmas my friends and I would get just a couple presents apiece, BUT we shared all our stuff with each other. My childhood was full of fun and games because of my many friends and the fact that nobody told us we were poor. We CAN go back in time to a sharing and caring life style. We MUST go back . . .

What is it that we actually need in order to live a satisfactory life? Shelter is the first need. Water is the second. Food is the third. In the following posts I will be talking about these three things, beginning with shelter. . . .  (to be continued)

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7 comments

  1. DysthymiaBree

    I look forward to reading more! We really do think we “need” too much. Mental illness disturbed my life some years back, necessitating big changes, and I’ve realized how much less I “need” to live a full and happy life.

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  2. jasonjshaw

    Between my parents’ experiences with debt and my video game experience with Sim City (a game where you build and run your own city), I learned quite well that debt was something I wanted to avoid whenever possible. In that sense, a little short term sacrifice can do wonders for long term sustainability. If only they taught such things in school.

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  3. jasonjshaw

    Exactly the problem, a focus on short-term gain rather than long-term prosperity by those in control. It can only last for so long until the tides turn in the other direction.

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  4. Erin Kurnik

    I have most often been a more minimal person partially due to lack of $. Now, for environmental reasons, I seek to be conscious of why I am buying something. Recently, the clothing is my closet looked stagnant, like same old energy. Plus some of it was worn out.l I wanted to bring some fresh inspiration in (clothing is a form of self expression for me). I went to a thrift store and got a few items and also ordered a few organic cotton items online. There was a certain excitement in the acquiring, trying on and/or anticipating an item in the mail that quickly wore off. Part of me wanted to buy more and have more of that excitement, anticipation, trying on (more stuff), but intuitively I knew that I replaced a few worn out items, had brought in the fresh creative energy (I found the most fabulous dangling earrings at a thrift store) and nothing more needed to be done for now. Anything else was a distraction from being present .

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