Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wants and Needs

I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio this morning (because I can’t afford to be educated in an institution of higher learning). The discussion was “What do you consider a necessity, what do you consider a luxury?”

People list cell phones, microwaves, t.v’s, the internet, and their car as necessities of life. I think I take a decidedly different take on this question. A necessity to me is something that its lack thereof would cause you to curl up and die. I list necessities as being things like shelter, food, warm clothes, and a certain medication that I cannot live without (meaning “I’ll die”, not “I’ll get sick or pissy”). We own one car and my husband uses it for his job so for him, a car is a necessity since without it, he would not be able to work and collect the monies in which to pay for the food and shelter. My monies are collected after riding the bus so I would assume that I would have to list the bus as a necessity. One time I did walk to work but it was in the summer and it took me two hours. By the time I arrived, I was ready for a nap.

I don’t know if it’s because I come from people that would tell me tales of their life in the depression or because I have spent a little too much time considering the causes of suffering in this world, but I can’t fathom someone listing their cell phone as a necessity. I think I would list my washer and dryer as a necessity before a cell phone (which I don’t own…).

I think that this list should be considered for people’s personal use, not in the world of business. I must admit that I dealt with a business the other day that had access to email but chose not to use it because, as the administrative assistant told me, “I don’t need to get emails about penis enlargement”. Now, when it comes to the world of business, if you aren’t on an even playing field, you are at a disadvantage. We’re not talking about international tariffs here, we’re talking about the use of email. She didn’t appreciate my reply that there are such things as email filters, she just told me that she wasn’t qualified to be doing the job that she was doing…well, thanks for the 411! She also got pissed at me after she made that comment and I asked her to transfer me to someone that was qualified to do their job. (Well, if you don’t want people to think you’re incompetent, don’t tell them that you are…)

ANYWAY…If I didn’t have access to email or the internet, it would change my life. It would not, however, end it.

I would not choose to wash my clothes by hand, in fact, it might prompt me to move to a nudist colony. It would not, however, kill me.

One thing that always startles me and makes me slightly ashamed of myself is when we have a power outage. I’ll go to do something and then it hits me, I need electricity to do that! It reminds me that I am spoiled.

If the respondents that listed these items as necessities lived the lives of the majority of the people in this world, I think their responses might change. We have many luxuries, we have few necessities.

1 comment:

gtr said...

Greetings from a fellow local blogger...

Good thoughts! True necessities: food, water, shelter, warm clothing.