“Man will always be imaginative enough to enlarge his needs beyond minimum requirements and selfish enough to feel the pressure if his needs are more than the needs of others.”—Reinhold Niebuhr in Moral Man and Immoral Society
Not to be taken out of context, this is referring to the fact that a perfect society cannot exist in which every man takes what he needs “according to his needs” (Niebuhr again). However, I feel as though this statement sums up a lot of what I have been feeling lately. It is the imagination that keeps us wanting more all the time, and it is our selfishness that makes us think that our needs are way more important than helping others. And at the base of all of this is not as much the problem of having too much, but the problem of apathy towards other peoples’ needs.
What I think I understand is, life is not a question of do I need this, but a question of do I want this more than I want to help someone else with their actual needs. Of course, if I quit buying things, then the economy would go down, jobs would be lost, and way more people would be needy—I had to think American capitalism to come up with that. Fortunately, we are not striving for a pure socialist society, so none of this really matters, right?
I’ll always be able to up my minimum requirements. Fortunately, with the use of credit cards and other lines of credit, I don’t even have to have to have. But will I ever realize that my having comes at the expense of not helping others have—I hope not! What a terrible way to live. When I need to get more furniture, I guarantee you that I will feel that “need” more than I will feel the “need” to contribute to an organization that takes care of homeless pregnant women (besides, they got themselves there, right? I deserve my couch).
These are the kinds of rantings and ravings that get me in trouble. This is supposed to be a blog about Ben and Monica and their perfect lives with their puppy, Cali. Perhaps I need to start my own blog somewhere else and vent there and save this blog for the cute stuff. This blog does not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of its host, OC, or its other blogger, Monica. I talked to Cali, though, and it does represent her view.