Tuesday, May 12, 2009


2 a: a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful b: a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism

Always Having What You Need - by Hayden Furman, age 10

My wish for the world is that everyone has what they need. This includes clothes, housing, medicine, food, money, and love. Too many people are living without these things and it makes me sad. I think if people had everything they needed we would have less problems in the world.

When I went to Google this morning, they had a link to vote for Doodle 4 Google: What I Wish for the World. Children from grades K through 12 have submitted doodles and my favorite was one by a 10 year old. It was my favorite not necessarily because of the artwork, but because of the thought behind it.

Like 10 year old Hayden, I wish everyone could have what they need. Perhaps unlike Hayden, I know this will never be the case. There will always be people in need. But I hope that I will not lose the desire I share with this young child to change that. I hope I will not become numb to the need around us. I hope I will instead become ever more sensitive to it and bolder in my attempts to meet needs.

My mom always made a distinction between our wants and needs and even now, when I shop for clothing (which, let's be honest is nearly always a want for me, not a need), I ask myself whether I need the item or simply want it. I do buy things just because I want them, but like Hayden, I wish everyone could have what they need. Maybe if I had a little less of what I want, others could have what they need.

But practically speaking, how does that work? Simply denying my wants does not mean the needs of others are met. Am I giving enough? enough time? enough attention? enough money? enough of me? I'm not sure how to do a better job of this, but I'm thankful that a tenderhearted ten year old made me ask these questions. I hope I'll keep seeking the answers.


Chocolate, Vanilla and Caramel said...

The rather funny ending to the story, which I didn't post, is that at the MOPS meeting we just had, Holly said the girl called her a rotten egg! So I guess that friendship was short-lived. But I was really proud of how she dealt with it. We did talk about loving your enemies. Much easier said than done. You're so right -- it is much harder knowing our kids have internal hurts. We want to shield them from it all!

Mrs. Heaton's Class said...

Hi. My name is Eve Heaton and I am Hayden's teacher. We were very touched that you wrote about how Hayden's words made you think about need in a global sense. As a fourth grade writing (math and science as well) teacher I try and tell my students how what they say, even as 10 year olds, matter and can impact others. Thank you again for taking the time to post the impact of Hayden's words on your blog.

Mrs. Heaton
Mossy Oaks Elementary School
Beaufort, SC

Variations On A Theme said...

I think about this all the time. Sometimes I get really specific: "With the $3 I just spent on that Mocha Latte, I could have fed a child in India for a month" - etc. The guilt feels so heavy sometimes I just wish I didn't exist. It's such a hard balance.