I need more bullshit

When we try to help people, it is tempting to give them what they want. Often, however, what we want is not what we need—quite the opposite.

But how do we know what other people need? By listening to them? Few people really know what they need. Even when we do know, we often don’t want it and will insist that we really need something else.

(I need a drink; I need a new car; I need a divorce; I need a boyfriend; I need a new hairstyle; I need a degree; I need to check my messages; I need to lose weight; I need more money from the government; I need to work more; I need to get laid; I need what they have; I need dessert). It is very hard to tell the difference between a need and a want.

Should we judge for ourselves when we help somebody, and then tell them what they need? Or perhaps educate them so that they can learn to recognize what they need? That is arrogant and presumptuous. And telling other people what they need is no more accurate than listening to them.

(You should work harder; you should go to church; you should vote; you should be chaste; you need to be liberated; you should behave like me; you need a nuclear family; you need to lead; you should listen; you should stay home and not migrate; you should prioritize economic development; you should eat healthy meals; you need to buy this medicine; you need to support the government; you need to mistrust the government; you need to buy this; you need to take this class; you need a dam; you need private property; you need a cooperative; you need to pay taxes; you need more self control; you need to think about children first).

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Posted on September 8, 2012, in Society and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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