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  • Steven Delpome

Need to


I stared at this worksheet. Senior level class. Entrepreneurship. Student being asked to classify needs and wants.

This for an 18 year old. And we wonder why students become disillusioned with school.

I only bring that up because it brings up a related pairing of words we’ve also managed to cross up: “need to” vs. “have to.” How often have you said aloud, “I need to get this done,” when you were discussing it in relation to a deadline? Or an order given to you by a boss or a teacher? How often have you heard “you need to do this” from the same?

Needs are primal. They occupy a part of us that does not have vocabulary.

Need is the bubble in you bursting from howl of demon flame. Anything you do that comes from need is inevitably one that, when you’re asked why you did it, you can only offer a shrug “iunno”

Need to is a place from which everyone deserves to work from. It might bring joy. It might bring anger. It might bring sweat and physical strain. What it never brings is anxiety. It’s driven by a ravenousness that foully glares anyone who tries to stop it.

Anything other than that is a have to, and, were I a better writer, all that came before would’ve been peppered with careful hints that maybe this confusion of have to and need to is why we in our society feel we need things that we don’t: money, community stature, better things than others have, and so on. And why we feel such a mess so often and just where did we learn to want like this anyway?

But I’m just not that good right now, so I’ll just have to leave it there in that paragraph.