"Needs, Wants and Whims"

8 January 2010



"Needs, wants and whims." What are these? Drivers, unconscious and  conscious, for all my actions? I need. I want. And whims? Perhaps a "want" without regard to consequences?


Needs are fairly easy, We all need air, water and food. Again my definition. Some people may say they need sex or attention or a designer suit. Perhaps so. Perhaps "needs" are absolutely necessary to a healthy, happy, life?

Wants: harder to define. I want to be rich or thin or have sex or be famous or be successful. I think I can be healthy and happy without "wants."

Whim. From a dictionary. Whim is a noun. "A sudden or capricious idea; a fancy." "Arbitrary thought or impulse; governed by whim." "A vertical horse-powered drum used as a hoist in a mine."

"A fancy?" Interesting.

"A vertical horse-powered drum used as a hoist in a mine?"  Nope, did not know that and never in my sort of definition of whim.

Not sure why, but when I say the word "whim" over and over inside my head, its color is negative or it has a negative connation to me. Protestant upbringing perhaps?

But the whole point to this writing is to confess that I have succumbed to whims. I did not think of what I was doing as a whim at the time but more as a "need" or better yet, a "want" but certainly not a whim. And yet, recently, I saw in another that a lot of what she states she needs or wants are in fact, whims and nothing I should be concerned about making happen. If I had only been able to discern vocal needs from wants from whims, would have saved me a lot of time and trouble.

But that is another person and my confession is about me. Guilty as charged. My standard of living has risen to the point that I have often done things that were whims just because I could.

Sad really to be so removed from "need."

So I finally beginning to put some real, personal, definition into the words, "need", "want" and "whim." I wonder if everyone else already knew these words well?

If I have rarely used the word whim or even evaluated something I was about to do as a whim, I surely have never used the word "fancy." Oh, God, another word to define out at should an old age.