FOUR LETTER WORD

by Stewart B. Segal, MD

Over the last 30 years, I have been privileged to care for many children.  Some of those children I delivered; others came into my practice at various stages of their lives.  It is now my privilege to care for the children of those children.  During my 30 year tenure, I have witnessed many trends, some transitory some not, some good, some not.  Of all the trends, the worst I have seen is that the children in my community seem to be growing needier.

This trend to “need” more is not a surprise.  Parents have always worked to give their children more than they had.  T.V. commercials play on “need” to sell their goods.  Your teeth are not white enough.  Your hair is not lustrous enough. You need a new phone, car, T.V., and you definitely need to “Go to Jareds!” 

The problem is needy people feel bad.  Some even take their own lives.  This community has witnessed too many suicides.  It is time to declare “NEED” as one of those dirty four letter words and ban its use.  Every time our children say “Mom, I need  ...” we need to reorient them and proclaim that they “WANT …” instead.  Needs are food, clothing, a roof over your head, love of a parent and an education.  The rest are “WANTS”.  It is OK to want something.  You can work for what you want.  It is not OK to be needy.

There is one more “NEED” that I want to talk about.  We need to be thankful for what we have.  Many of us take our house, car, food and all the rest for granted.  After all, everyone has those things.  We “need” to go back to those days when dinner conversations started with what we were thankful for rather than what we “need”.

 

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