20 May 2015

Meconomics: Wants and Needs in your Daily Living

This blogpost is a continuous to:

Meconomics: I need my Wants and Want my Needs to be Satisfied

To gain context on 'Meconomics', read and watch:

"Meconomics": ME-Economics
[83] Introducing Meconomics

In my previous blog I wrote about the word ‘wants’ and the word ‘needs’ and how, in economic theory, the two words started merging together into ‘wants&needs’ – treating both words as though they have the same properties and characteristics – as well as how this new merged term was then used as a justification for ineffective distribution processes in our capitalistic economic model wherein some people’s needs are not being satisfied, whereas others can satisfy virtually all their wants and desires.

In this post we’re going to apply the principle ‘as above, so below’ – keeping in mind that the economic model is a human creation – built in the image and likeness of its creator – it is worthwhile finding out where within ourselves we confuse the terms ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ in our daily living.

Have you ever been in a situation where, you realize you need to pay a water or electricity bill, but realize you’re out of funds, because you bought something in the last few weeks that you really wanted, and kind of forgot to keep money aside for these essential expenses?

Or have you ever been in a situation where you learned about a new product or gadget, like a new playstation, iphone, cooking utensil – you name it – where you just couldn’t get it out of your mind and felt you ‘had to get it’ and would feel kind of restless until the moment you bought it?

Or have you ever postponed studying for an exam, and a few days before the exam date, suddenly realized you spent most of your time on entertainment, going out with friends, watching movies or partying?

How does that happen? How come we don’t prioritize our needs over our wants?

That is actually something you can answer for yourself, have a look:

How often do you get excited over the idea that you will continue to have electricity in your house?
How often are you exhilarated by merely thinking about eating your sandwich in the cafeteria during your lunch break?
How many of your days are filled thinking about the new plain dark blue socks you’re going to buy because most of your current ones are worn out – where you enter a daydream and feel so absolutely excited and fulfilled imagining buying those new socks?

For most of us – that doesn’t really happen. For most of us – our needs are ‘boring’. Fulfilling our needs forms part of the basic support that we have and give ourselves, but they don’t give us a ‘thrill’, they don’t make us ‘ecstatic’, they don’t even get us excited. A need is not something you ‘feel’ on an energetic level – they don’t make themselves known through a rush. Rather – a need will make itself known through physical discomfort: hunger shows you a need for food, painful feet shows you a need for new shoes, the discomfort of taking showers in ice cold water shows us the need to pay our electricity bill. Needs make themselves known through ‘negative’ physical experiences.

Most of the time, we don’t feel needs or are even aware of our needs, it is only when we lack our basic needs that we suddenly start being affected by them, first on a physical level – and if we see we can’t satisfy our needs, we’ll go into anxiety, stress and survival-mode. But when our needs are being met – they are ‘silent’ and go unnoticed, we feel they don’t really ‘add’ anything to our lives, because we have taken them for granted as just being a part of our daily living.

Desires on the other hand – do give us an energetic thrill or rush. We feel better thinking about our desires and fulfilling/satisfying them, we look forward to fulfilling them, they occupy our minds and lead us to daydreaming, they make us feel hopeful that we/our lives will be better once we satisfy them.

I’ll continue opening up this point in my next post – stay tuned…


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