We still want what we want.

11 Sep

Driving through a nearby town last week I saw a new home being built in the midst of several new vacant homes for sale.  I thought, “Why would someone be building a new home in the middle of all the new homes for sale?”  There certainly must be a home that is already built that would suit them.  Why not buy one of the homes that were for sale.  My answer.  We still want what we want. 

We are a society of spoiled individuals.  I’m sure that one of those homes for sale would come very near to the expectations of the individual building the new home but there must be at least one thing on their list that the other homes did not have that they wanted.  People don’t want to compromise when it comes to their want list.  They have confused wants and needs.

Everyone needs shelter, food and clothing but they don’t need a brand new home with all the perks, expensive specialty coffee and designer clothing.  Who needs a $700 pair of shoes when a $20 pair will serve the same purpose.  When my son was in first grade I first noticed the importance that people placed on labels.  He was teased because he didn’t have the “expensive shoes to have” or the clothes with the “right label”.  He had his needs met, clothes on his back but certainly not his wants at that point in time.

Last week we had a customer and his daughter come in to our business to shop for a car.  She said that she needed a new car.  We don’t sell new cars but we knew she was referring to a new car to her but used.  She is a college student driving a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix with 85,000. 

My husband asked if there was a problem with her car that she needed to replace it and she said she needed to replace it because she felt it was depreciating in value as it neared 100,000 miles.  I listened as my husband explained the depreciation of a vehicle over time,  especially the difference between a vehicle you already own and one you would purchase with a high sticker price. 

When it came right down to it, there was no problem with the car she was driving.  Mechanically and appearance wise  the vehicle was fine.  It met her needs very well since she wanted to replace it with a newer car very similar to what she is already driving.  She has her wants and needs confused.  Her car met her needs, basic transportation,  but not her wants.  She wanted something newer, something different to look at.   

My husband told her she didn’t need a new car that her present car should meet all her needs until she finishes college without worrying too much about depreciation.  The smile on the Dad’s face was priceless.  He didn’t want to be the one telling his daughter she didn’t need a new car.  Why as parents are we disinclined to tell our children no when at times it is the best answer?

We still want what we want even if we can’t afford it or need it and that means for our children as well.


Posted by on September 11, 2010 in Reflections


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6 responses to “We still want what we want.

  1. Joe Clark

    September 12, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Wow! I have a spreadsheet for this one, too, Jeanne. Many of us need to realize the only way to truly get the value out of a vehicle is to “drive it ’til it drops” – which is precisely what I am doing with my ’01 Camry that has 284,000 miles.

  2. flyinggma

    September 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more. My 1999 Olds Intrigue has 230,000 miles on it and still runs great. It is obviously not the latest and greatest vehicle but it provides me with my basic need for transportation.

    My Dad is driving a 1995 Pontiac Transport van that has 376, ooo miles on it. He has replaced one transmission but it is still the original 3.8L engine. He loves it because it doesn’t rust.

    There are many vehicles that I could replace mine with but I figure I’m driving pretty green these days instead of parking it before its useful life is done just because I want something newer. I still get about 25 miles to the gallon even with my short trips.

    • Joe Clark

      September 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Well, you influenced my blog for tomorrow and made me put my spreadsheet up for the curiosity of all. By the way, how did you connect with our minister? His sermon today was exactly on this topic – the difference between need and want.

      • flyinggma

        September 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

        I haven’t had a chance to spend some time with the spreadsheet yet but plan to tomorrow. Our pastor’s sermon today was on leaving everything behind and following Jesus. It was on the calling of Matthew, the tax collector.

        I’m finding it easier on a daily basis to give up more of my possessions. They just don’t mean as much as they used to and I’m tired of cleaning around them, maintaining them, and paying for them. Less is definitely more!

        I hope to get up flying early tomorrow morning. Nothing like a crisp, clear and cool morning for airplane performance. Hopefully there won’t be an issue with fog.

  3. Thomas Stazyk

    September 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    This is so true and is the reason so many people are unhappy–because they don’t appreciate what they have and convince themselves they’ll be happy when they get a new (house, car, job) etc.

    • flyinggma

      September 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      At some point in time you have to look at what you have and wonder how it affects those around you. I want my home to be a place where anyone would feel comfortable. We live in a small community where a lot of people work minimum wage jobs or are farmers that work long hours. They make do with what they have and maintain older items rather than purchasing new things.

      Things won’t make you happy because there are always new things to obtain that you don’t have. Just more opportunities for dissatisfaction and unhappiness especially if you don’t have the means to get what you want.


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