What do we really NEED? I don’t mean want, but need?
I recently saw a commercial for a refrigerator with a computer screen in it. I was shocked by it. I just don’t understand what you would need that for. But this commercial made it seem like you absolutely do NEED this to be happy. Of course that got me thinking and ranting on Facebook about materialism and discontentment. However it’s really easy to say that you don’t NEED such an extravagant thing as a refrigerator with a TV in it. But it’s not so easy when it comes down to smaller things.
I few months ago I was reading a book about finances and getting out of debt, and Glenn and I were resolving not to have any more debt and so forth. So, we were trying to cut expenses to be able to pay down our debt. I will admit we have a good bit of debt, mostly from school and adoption costs, but still debt none the less. So, we began looking at what we spend our money on. The Bible says “where your treasure is your heart will be also.” Judging by our budget we needed to make some adjustments.
But what do you cut out? In this society it is expected that you will have certain things. Cell phones, cable TV, computers with high speed internet, the newest cars and the biggest houses. To not have some of that is abnormal. But is it? Glenn and I made some difficult choices, we didn’t get rid of all that, obviously as I am typing on our laptop, but we did get rid of some things that the world views as abnormal. And you know what? We thought we would miss those things, but we don’t. The kids fussed for a little while, but they adjusted. And will we get those things back after we are out of debt, I don’t know. I would have to say I doubt it.
I was reading a book recently about a girl and her mother who immigrated here from China in the last 20 years. I was reading about how they lived and it was clear to me that many things I see as necessary are not. They had no power, phone, tv, or heat. They had no car either. Just because they could not afford them. I just didn’t stop to think about people who live this way now, in America. I guess I naively assumed that was the stuff of third world countries, but that is not the case. So, it made me realize that the list of things we NEED to live is very short. Am I saying that we should all get rid of our TV’s and cars and such. No. But I am saying we should examine our lives and think about those things which we really need and what we could live without. If you are in debt, resolve to pay it back by cutting back. If you are not in debt, good for you! But resolve to give more to those in need. We get too safe in our secure little bubbles of suburbia sometimes and don’t see that we should examine our lives every now and then, and change. The debt crisis in this country did not come from the politicians alone, but from each one of us buying more stuff than we can pay for. Let’s resolve to fix that and really examine what we need. It starts small. Do you really need everything you are buying at the grocery store? You could cut $5 a week out of your grocery budget and put it towards debt or someone in need. It would make a difference over time. It’s time to re-examine our needs versus our wants.