I think lots of people get mixed up when using the words need and want. Americans for sure. I think we should all start using the word want much more, replacing the word need.
This thought process all started recently on rides. People I’ve been riding with turn off saying they don’t need to ride that far. These guys, in my opinion, needed to ride more, but they didn’t want to ride more.
Then a couple days ago, Catherine walked over to my house before the club ride. I’d already ridden 30 miles and was meeting back up with the other guys and to get more water. Catherine had ridden 3 hours with me the day before at a heat index of 108, but she is short of mileage. Anyway, she used the word need instead of want when describing her thoughts about riding again at a heat index of 115.
This all got me thinking about the word need. We, as Americans, are not much in need, normally. We have plenty. But it really depends how strictly you want to adhere to the definition of need. And I’m using the verb form of need, which really means essential or very important.
When it comes down to it, some people might not ever need anything ever. Say someone has no desire to live anymore. He really doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t need air, food, anything. Others might suggest he needs a chance of mentality.
But, in reality, what is essential to some people isn’t important to others. And they use the word need to describe something that most people think they should use the word want for.
Health is one subject where needs comes into play. Many times in health, you really do need something. And the same in parenting. You feel so strongly about something, that it is essential, thus a need. But, in general the word want could be used more in both those instances too.
I guess that there are some essential things that make each of us happy. And different things make each of us happy. Happiness is one thing to strive for in life, in my opinion. There are lots of different things that contribute to happiness. But it is very personal.
But again, in my opinion, many things that make us happy are wants and not needs. I think most anyone reading this have most of what they really need.