I’ve mentioned recently that I spent last week camping by a beautiful river. Friends who aren’t camping fans can’t understand why I would enjoy it so much. I really can’t explain it, I just love sleeping under canvas. There’s a certain sense of freedom I feel.
The first night of our week’s holiday, we were joined by a friend, Mary, who was cycling 309 km up and over the Australian Alps. I think it was her 5th night on the road. It’s not my idea of fun, but boy what an achievement!
Anyway, we arrived and set up camp. It took about an hour to have the tent erected, the kitchen in place and beds made, as well as a neat tarpaulin to shade us while outdoors. We had everything for a comfortable stay – a roof over our heads, gas-powered fridge, airbeds, stove, chairs, pots and pans and the kitchen sink.
After putting the finishing touches to our temporary home, I took in the scene. Our campsite and all its paraphenalia, and our friend’s with a tiny one-woman tent and not much else. And then it hit me. That was the difference between needs and wants. Mary had all she needed – a tiny stove to make a meal or hot drink, bedding, tent that doubled as a cape, a change of clothes. And it all fit on her bicycle!
There’s a big difference between wants and needs if we can only see it. The choices we make result in consequences which we often don’t question. My eyes were opened wide that day.
What things do you consider needs but which may actually be wants?