These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Is It Just Me?

I'll answer my own question . . . no, I think it isn't just me.

I had a conversation with a friend today. It all started with a discussion of plastic surgery, what would/wouldn't I do in the way of reconstruction. I said that I would like to have an eye lift since I am beginning to have a little bit of a hood. It isn't bad, but I will consider it in the next few years. I would also like to have a little bit of plumping done to my lips for the following reason: I had an auto accident in 1964 which was before seat belts being the rule of thumb. My baby began to fall off the seat (this was also prior to good child restraints) and when I grabbed him, I also jerked the steering wheel and hit a telephone pole. Consequently, my face hit the steering wheel, split my lip from center to the left corner of my nose. Over the years, the scar tissue had to be reconstructed several times, and now with the aging process, my upper lip is quite thin. Therefore, a little plumping would be nice. I don't want to look like the stars, even Ms. Jolie, who is naturally plush, but just a little to make my kisser look more kissable.

No wait! That's not the topic! It's just the platform.

My friend mentioned the story on the news today about a woman who died in a "back alley" liposuction center. I had said that I wouldn't consider that, even though I'm struggling to get that extra roll of fat off. It scares me. This story reminds me of something that most of you won't remember. When I was young, abortion was illegal. Girls either had the baby or they resorted to back alley abortion clinics. Lucky ones lived close to Mexico where there were actually some clean clinics available. My friend said that the abortion situation was a more or less "no way out" situation; the liposuction things is certainly optional. Yes, it is. But . . .

I think that in our society, there is a great confusion between "wants" and "needs." What *I* assess as a "want," some others (possibly *many* others) classify as "need." We have become so accustomed to having things, things, things, that I believe the bar has been raised in the minds of many people. 'Wants' have literally become "needs" for many people. As a society, we have so many things that the bar is elevated in measuring what we perceive we need.

I'm again tossing a thought out for consideration and comment. What do you think? This isn't what *you* hold as a standard in your family; this is what you think *our society as a whole* has come to expect. My vote is obviously for the fact that we have generally come to expect many things that are not, in reality, needs, but wants. Do we have too much? Do we expect to have more than necessary? Are we a greedy people?

12 comments:

  1. I heard about that liposuction thing on the news. Wouldn't you think someone doing that out of their basement wasn't qualified or have a license to do that.

    There are a lot of wants in the world and most have learned to live without those wants. For instance, I want to live on the water. I Know that is we could probably do that, but have no money left over for others things. So I know that my want needs to be put aside for now.

    I think you're beautiful the way you are. No improvements needed from my point of view.

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  2. I think the greedy society thing is hyped alot by the media honestly. I'm sure there are some, ok, maybe lots of greedy folks out there (I mean, look at the Enron, Tyco & Worldcom execs!) and they probably do think their wants are needs. Me? I want LESS crap thank you very much!

    As an aside: A counselor I know once told me that if we are talking about something we want or thinking about wanting it...and we change the word "want" to the word "need", our bodies have a totally different physiological response to not having the "need" met versus not having the "want" met. Interesting eh?

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  3. caroline - Ahhh. But you see, you know the difference between your wants and needs. I found many of my clients who weren't sure how they would pay the rent or buy food had big screen TVs orcouldn't live without cable. As a matter of fact, I have on e client who wanted a pit bull puppy, and she used grocery money to buy it! Than she hit the food banks to feed her kids. And thanks for the compliment. You're a dear.

    traci - I'm guessing that those of us who are stuck somewhere int he middle of the economy know the meaning of want and need, but I see it skewed at both the top, as you mention, and at the bottom, as above. That is an interesting concept you mention. I just tried it, and I think you're right. When I changed my thought os a want to needing it, it seemed to have an anxiety effect! wow! I'm a psychotherapist . . . why didn't I know that!? tee hee!

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  4. we are a greedy people and there are a lot more wants than needs. some people really think they can not live with out certain things in their lives but they can and would if push came to shove.

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  5. classifying our 'wants' as 'needs' is a way of convincing or reassuring ourselves that it's ok [if not right] to satisfy them.
    >> maybe not greedy, just self-serving.

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  6. mrhaney - I agree with you. I'll admit that at times I've seen something as a need until I accepted that I couldn't have it. I've done without things when I reached the bottom line.


    fatty - I like your point. Self-serving says it well. I think that fits with self-centered, something that seems to be common. A century ago, most of us lived within 50 miles of where we were born and where most of our family members lived. Interactions with loved ones was direct, personal, more focused on the family than the individual. We've become such a mobile society and often live long distances from family or even friends. We are fortunate to have technology that keeps us in touch; however, I think the technology also replaces personal relationships at times and leaves us self-focused. Interesting concept.

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  7. Interesting comments. When my husband was assisting Hurricane Katrina evacuees he wanted to have t-shirts printed that said "I survived Hurrican Katrina and all I got was a big screen plasma TV." He was SHOCKED and AMAZED how they would call his agencies for assitance and when they would deliver the nightly meals, the residents had used their FEMA money for a plasma tv. It is all about priorities.

    That being said, I also agree with the fact that we have so much. I grew up in a household where grocery money was very tight every week but my Mother was always able to do amazing things with the few dollars she and my dad brought home each week. Now I'll admit I spoil my children because I know how it feels not to have the Nike shoes or the Levi jeans. However, I am beginning to realize they have no idea how "the other half" lives.

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  8. Oh, I think Americans and other well-off countries are WAY too greedy. We have come to expect a standard of living which is imposing on the resources in the world.
    I think about it as I type on my computer. It is a hot day. I shouldn't be using the extra electricity (sp?) to read blogs. I can wait until tomorrow when the heat breaks and the air conditioners are running less, but noooo,I can't go one day without turning on the computer!

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  9. old - Great example of the point. It always feels like a kick in the knees when I'm trying to help someone in dire straights(anything from Katrina to daily struggling) and then they make such an illogical decision. I also grew up in a household in which the budget was extremely tight, but interestingly, as I look back, I don't remember feeling a need for much more than the every day food, shelter, etc. When there was a little extra, my parents tried to do something for us, but we didn't expect it. We knew we didn't *need* it, and it was a great treat.

    In my own adulthood, I've experienced very slim budgets and more opulent times. Know what? In the former I experienced few big *needs*, but in the latter there have been some rather extravagant materialistic desires that got met. When we got, we want more!!

    m - OH, NO!! Now I'm feeling guilty about the computer, also!! ;-) But you're right! This could wait, couldn't it? Oh, my goodness! another great illustration.

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  10. dearest lynilu:
    I believe you hit the nail on the head. It's at the top and bottom.. my friends who have money like to say, "I need those boots!" or at least, diplomatically, "I need boots of that quality. It's an investment." (An investment of $1500?)

    On the other end of the income spectrum, is the can't-afford-groceries-but-I-gotta-have-my-big-screen-tv syndrome! I've been doing an outreach project to sacntioned clients, and a number have had huge tv's, internet, flatscreen computer, etc. while they get half the standard grant. (!!!)

    As my boss remarked darkly, "Ah, yes, but drug dealing doesn't have the medical benefits that state does."

    -the cat

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  11. Oh, cat, ain't it the truth? I'm 62 and paying a fortune for for health insurance. (Just me = $500+) Maybe I should consider a life style change. I worked *with* the system for a long time without learning how to work the system. sigh. This middle strata sucks, at times.

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  12. i am back on the computer again tonight!

    i did walk around work turning off lights and unused appliances(like our shredder, the coffee pots, my radio..)

    people were laughing at me...

    oh, and i had yogurt instead of bacon or egss for breakfast. didn't use the stove today!

    so, i feel a little less guilty about my blogging addiction!

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If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!