The deceptive idea of need

It’s sort of amusing to me how much shock I can evoke from a person just by telling them I own neither internet nor cable TV.

You WHAT?  You crazy, girl?

Yes, maybe I am a little, but that is not the point.  And also, before you think me some sort of luddite, please know I have nothing against technology or anyone’s use of it.



But, when it comes to what I need versus what is handy or nice to have around, I’ve found there to be a great distinction.  I credit this mostly to my upbringing, the guidance of two very down-to-earth-parents and knowing what it’s like to have zero money.

Yes, it’s true- being poor as a kid is actually something I feel has benefited me, and if I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing in that regard. It taught me the beauty of simplicity, how to work hard, and that money itself really holds no happiness at all.


Money is nice to have of course (shopping, hello) but there is something wonderful about knowing that the things you treasure most can’t be held or taken or bought.

The most valuable things in life simply have nothing to do with consumption, gain, or capitalizing in any way, despite what we’re sold in this world.  They exist in an entirely different dimension, and have a way of altering how we think about the world and everything it, once realized.

People, beauty, creatures and every other good thing in this world are not stepping stones to individual need; they ought to be loved and admired because they are delightful in their own right and have an admirable soul. And you delight in them for their sake…….not yours. You want good things for them, and though you may benefit from exposure to them (much like sunshine does for a flower), what you get from them should never be the end objective.

That is a strange concept in a world that tells us we are the center of the universe and should be taking advantage of every opportunity to glean something for ourselves.

Take. Consume. Claim. Buy.


But the truth is, that is the lie.   When we grasp onto beautiful things and try to keep them for our own sake, we actually rob ourselves as well as the object of our affection of the very things we love them for.

But think about it- When was the last time you heard of a person dying of cancer who spent their last days on earth making money or trying to hold onto anything for themselves?  More often than not we find them with the people they love, enjoying their company, experiencing the world and simply taking in the beauty they are left to ponder and enjoy.

And I have a feeling that when we know our time is limited we tend to see things a little more clearly.

As Hambly so beautifully put it, “Sometimes a butterfly will come to sit in your open palm, but if you close your hand, one way or the other, it–and its choice to be there–are gone.

Both you and the butterfly lose.


You may be wondering at this point, if I’ve gone off on rabbit trail. Perhaps, but I promise I am actually coming around to my point.  And that is this: when it comes down to it, the immense amount of goodness and beauty in this world is yours to enjoy.  The trick is to learn that the best way of doing that is to let it go.

It’s true, I promise it’s true.

When you begin to see the world and the people in it from the perspective that they are beautiful in their right and that’s enough, you will find yourself change.  Your eyes will slowly begin to shift from your own needs and wants and must-have’s to seeing what is good from what surrounds you.


There is something terribly beautiful and freeing about that, and it changes not only how you live your life, but also the life you touch as you pass through.