What is the difference between want and need?
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it”
-Henry David Thoreau
Why can’t I tell difference between want and need. In “Economy” in Walden by Henry David Thoreau I learned that you don’t always need what you think you need in life. I have been a kid always wanting to be rich having lots of items that I think I need. Through reading this I have “woken up” realizing that you only need the necessity in life. I agree with him saying how you don’t need fancy clothes to be a good man, nor a fancy house. In “Economy” Thoreau wants to show how you don’t need fancy things too be a good man. He shows how many people want things, but don’t need all those items. Coming into this I thought that I didn’t want too much and my wants and needs were balanced; however, after reading it I realized that I was way off. Showing how I wanted too many thing that I truly didn’t need.
Throughout the clothes part of “Economy” Thoreau explores how people don’t really need fancy clothes. As a person who is living only with the necessity of life shows how many people are almost corrupted with this mind set. Saying that how fancy your clothes are transfers to how good of a person you are. Everyone is trying to stay up to date with the latest trends and looking good. “The childish and savage taste of men and women for new patterns keeps how many shaking and squinting through kaleidoscopes that they may discover the particular figure which this generation requires today.” People will do anything to be able too look cool. He is talking about clothes in the 1850, so most people would push his advice to the side. Actually, his sayings still continue to make sense in our modern way of life. When talking about shelter in “Economy” he gets across his main points. One of his major sayings is that you shouldn’t have to creat pain for ourselves just to have a nice house. If you have the money you can buy what ever you want, but if you don’t have the money don’t take on too much. “Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have.” People may believe that in order for them to have a great and life they need a great house. This doesn’t transfer over to how great of a person you are. He relates both clothes and shelter saying how you really don’t need fancy or nice of either of these things.
When reading this chapter I was knocked down a size. I was surprised on how he can show how you don’t need fancy things in life and make it so convincing. It was dull and interesting to read at the same time. The actually word choice was hard to read since he used big words and it was confusing; however, the topic in which he was talking about was very interested. This definitely challenged the way I think since I think that I need a lot of things tang I actually don’t. I now have to realize what I truly need instead of just wanting pointless items. “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.” Trying to fit in, buying clothes that you really don’t need when the old clothes still fit. When reading this I was kinda feeling regret and relief at the same time. I was feeling regret becuase of all the money I have wasted on pointless items, begging my parents to get me things which I didn’t use as much as I said I would. I was feeling relief knowing that I don’t need to be rich in order to have a good life. “Before we can adorn our houses with beautiful objects, the walls must be stripped, and our lives must be stripped, and beautiful housekeeping and beautiful living be laid for a foundation...” When everyone talks about what the goals of life are many people talk about having a lot of money. After reading this I realize that you don’t need to have boat loads of money to live a great life.
Want and need two things that are similar, but completely different. You want what you need, but you don’t necessarily need what you want.