If “Needs” was a last name, or a nickname perhaps, this would be a career column post that had something to do with meeting Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Needs.
Being introduced to a person who is excessively needy is an experience that most of you would likely not look forward to. Someone who constantly needs your time, attention, affirmation, encouragement, emotional energy, money, etc. can leave you feeling drained, discouraged, and even used, after a while. When you see these type of people coming, you get going. And yet, at the same time, this label or handle may describe each one of us at different stages in our lives.
You and I have needs, legitimate needs, and if they go unmet for a long period of time…serious problems can develop. The longer our needs go unmet the more needy we become. Missing a meal or two might not be a big deal. Going without food for three or four days is manageable for most. Opening the refrigerator door one week later and realizing that you are reenacting a scene from the nursery rhyme Old Mother Hubbard can cause panic to set it. Particularly if you have children. And what if your credit cards have been maxed-out, your cheques are bouncing like rubber balls, your job prospects look dim, and the Food Bank (if your community has one) is out of food?
G.K. Chesterton once observed that while the rules of a club may sometimes favour the poor members, the direction or drift of the club always favours the rich.
This focus is ordinary and appropriate considering the broad mandate that humans have been given to care for creation. Which is to say, that this whole discussion is part of an overtly Judeo-Christian worldview. While I won’t get into it here, it needs to be said that this approach to your career and your life does not “hang in the air” and will not “hang in the air” for long if the necessary trampoline is taken away to launch it back up. A purely pragmatic philosophy of life might fit together with this approach, but then again…it might not.
Everything start to break down – quickly – if the balance between my needs and your needs is lost. And it often is. G.K. Chesterton once observed that while the rules of a club may sometimes favour the poor members, the direction or drift of the club always favours the rich. Would you agree? There does seem to be a tendency for some prosperous people (and maybe for people in general) to devote their lives to endlessly expanding their own “needs” and focusing in the end on their greeds. Based on the reports I have heard, very wealthy people typically give away a comparatively small percentage of their income even as they occasionally contribute large chunks of cash.
Remember that meeting your own needs is very important, and so is meeting the needs of others. I hope that you will take this simple message into your day and even work it into your life. No matter what specific career or life direction you choose, this balanced focus will be sure to serve you well.
*Here is a link to an excellent management book that includes a discussion, located in chapter five (p.57), about the importance of meeting needs.
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