I Need

needThe onset of my 14-month plan to make some major changes in my life and that of my family is just days away.

As I sat at my desk putting some final touches on the 14-Month Plan (My Manifesto of sorts), I caught myself writing two post-it notes with the word NEED placed front and centre.  It caused me to pause and consider if there truly needs, or wants…just ‘nice-to-have’s.

One of the lists included the need for five quotes and three recommended books to read.  Can I get by without quotes and certain books?  Certainly.  They would be nice to have in order to bring my plan to completion.  But need?  No.

The second list was for a few things I wanted for my office.  A magazine holder for my Writer’s Digest magazines, and a small desk calendar was as far as I got before stopping and noticing that my needs were quite petty.  If I reflect on the needs of others, I am slightly ashamed.  I know that I am blessed.  In contrast with the entire world I am in the top percentiles, and odds are that you are as well.  I don’t have to worry about cutting up newspaper so that I have toilet paper.  I don’t have to worry about my kids dodging heroin needles on their way to school or the park.  I don’t have to worry about the state turning on my heat as my family huddles under dirty blankets to keep warm.  I didn’t need to visit the food bank so my children would have meals this week.

Suddenly my needs pale.

I would like to have five quotes and three recommended books.  I’d like to have a magazine holder and a calendar.  But need?  No, not really.  Time ticks on either way.

I challenge you to take a day, or at least a momentary pause to look at your language.  “I just LOVE spaghetti.”  “I HATE peas.”  “I NEED a new iPhone.”

Everyone has a story.  If you listen to someone else’s story and truly hear their struggles, your needs will become less – especially if you are able to help that person.

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