What do you want? versus What do you need? Those questions come up occasionally, and my first response inclines toward covering my basic needs and then upgrading. That has been my relationship with physical things, including money, and it has served me well for nearly eighty years. Sometimes the frugality that attitude entails scoots over into being cheap, but rarely into stingy, and never into theft of other people’s stuff. That attitude means I am never in debt, and never compelled by the system to comply to situations I can’t walk away from with a pleasant smile, and a no thank you.
Today the idea “What do you want?” came up and was eloquently developed from the point of view of someone counseling a person in emotional distress. It appears that people often confuse the idea of what they need with what they want, and perhaps I am one of those who have put too much of my thoughts and efforts into making certain that my needs were covered and secured. I never worry much about what I want because my needs are covered, and thus my wants are modest and easily satisfied. But are they being satisfied?
The counselor was mentioning the painful problems that sufferers of anger, anxiety, poverty, meaninglessness and rejection were subject to, and I was thinking, am I hallucinating? I haven’t felt any of those emotions in a long time. Oh sure, I do have to wait my turn to speak sometimes, but it doesn’t feel like rejection, just a wait. Some people might consider driving a nineteen-year-old car to be poverty, but it runs perfectly and is comfortable, so I’m happy. Others complain of the meaninglessness of life, but I enjoy almost every moment, and when the blahs do appear, I find something meaningful to do within a minute. The only anger I ever experience is from other people expressing that my driving only five miles per hour over the speed limit is impeding them, and they glare at me.
Life becomes easy when we expect things to proceed as they are probably going to do. That became even more apparent after my ongoing conversations with the garden gnome Samumpsickle . He is reputed to be able to grant any wish I could request, and yet after several not particularly pleasant encounters with him, I came to my wish: “to let the world progress as it was going to do without my suggestions or his help.”