Letters & Opinion

We must better distinguish between Needs and Wants!

Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

In today’s world people have many wants, but not necessarily needs.

Example: somebody may want a big house, a nice car, a cute wife, even a gun, because these are all thoughts and desires that can be obtainable. But how one goes about obtaining them, or the purpose or usage of them, is a different proposition.

It is quite clear to me that there is a difference in obtaining a firearm to protect yourself, family or property, as this can be seen as a sensible gesture and can be considered a genuine need. But, to want a gun just to kill somebody is bordering on stupidity.

In the same way one may consider living in, or having a huge house as a luxury or an aspiration, or just having grand ideals is a fine thought , but not to consider the savings or sacrifice that one may have to endure to acquire and maintain it, and to think that to obtain it by any means is okay, that also sends a chill up my spine.

One may be hungry but to fill your belly will only ease the need, but not to consider the nutritional needs of the body is spinning a top in mud.

These days, development to most is having fine roads, available parking at their disposal, going to all fetes, dressing in the finest garments, having all modern-day IT gadgets advertised regardless of the cost. But to seek intellectual or spiritual virtues do not seem to be part of their needs because nobody sees the long-term benefits.

We live in a time of instant gratification, living like the Joneses, having a profile that appears to make you look successful, but behind all that facade can be plenty of emptiness.

Our society is decaying because of material wants being more important than spiritual needs. The value of life seems less and less important, and hence the reason criminality is on the rise and morals have decayed.

No body considers that you have to make hay while the sun shines, or that you need to save for a rainy day, that youthfulness is not a permanent state and growing old is part of the pattern of life, and that to secure a comfortable tomorrow you have to prepare for that time, because the philosophy that tomorrow will see for itself is not true.

Living in the fast lane has it thrills, but not having the foresight or the vision to understand the uncertainties of tomorrow is foolish.

I see the many who have wasted precious life, squandered wads of money, allowing the commercial sector to blind them into a false sense of security, and wonder if they consider that their lifespan is only in their formidable years. I often wonder if there’s no life after retirement, or is growing old or becoming aged out of the question.

This is God’s world, and he sets the rules, life is a transition and has various stages, but to live with a non- compliant attitude, or assume that you are the one in charge and everything should surround you and your desires, and only your needs count, is worth revisiting.

So many young men and slowly women want to have or own a motor bike and that I understand, but the volume of young  people are dying on the streets because of this bike culture, it makes me wonder if that want is a need.

Education is an expensive commodity these days, but it is not a choice investment for the young. Learning a trade or being skilled in an extraordinary skill area does not seem to interest most young people. It seems that everything they need will be provided on a silver platter.

Parents offer gifts for comfort to their children, but will not teach them how to be contended or appreciate the values of a clean life.

Kids of today do no house chores, because we will pay somebody to do it for them, or do it ourselves, in other words, they should not even learn to keep their living surroundings clean and tidy.

The Law, the state, the parents, the friends and loved ones all believe that life will be the teacher, so everyone has a hands-off approach.  We offer no guidelines, no modules, no directives, no direction — and we expect a different result and wonder why the lawlessness.

We offer no workshops or seminars or clubs to enlighten and wonder why the youth seem to have gone astray; nobody wants to commit, contribute or be supportive, nobody wants to pass-on or teach for continuity; in fact, the old norm was “no pain, no gain” but the new norm is “no pay, no gain…”

I question how will we change what is or are we all satisfied with the present. Do we throw our hands in the air and wave a white flag?

And most, if not all, the children are waiting for their share from our sacrifices and our endurance and their input is zero and they are all alienated. After all, we brought them into this world we are responsible; and we should feel the guilt.

What a time we live in today…

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