- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme
JournalNeeds, an Elastic Rubber Band?

Needs, an Elastic Rubber Band?

“In the pursuit of excess beyond necessity, I fear losing my true self.”

(Zadan Zarik)

Consumerism that extends beyond basic requirements, in my personal view, is a byproduct of capitalism. I perceive needs as akin to an elastic rubber band: initially possessing a specific length when unstretched, representing our fundamental requirements such as shelter, food, clothing, and transportation.

Subsequently, there’s the stretching phase, signifying the transition from the unstretched state to an increasingly extended length, mirroring the escalation in consumption from minimal sustenance, modest living spaces, compact vehicles, and basic attire to slightly improved versions thereof. This progression persists as we continually endeavor to accumulate more resources, expanding the length of our metaphorical rubber band, all while still labeling these acquisitions as needs. 

Needs vary from individual to individual, yet when compared, they differ significantly even among those within the same socioeconomic stratum. In my opinion, what one person deems as essential for protection from the elements, another may view as a means of projecting social status. Both regard these acquisitions as necessities, though what one perceives as luxuries, the other considers basic needs. This discrepancy extends further. 

There is no inherent issue with consumption until it results in the grossly unequal distribution of wealth among the populace. The unstretched rubber band, representing necessities, (the definition of basics is almost similar across global cultures) should be accessible to every human being. The problem is exacerbated when acquiring higher-tier needs comes at the expense of depriving others of their necessities.

For instance, the consumption habits of affluent regions like America and Europe often come at the cost of regions like Africa and Asia. This serves merely as an illustration; the intricacies of how and why this occurs are not the focus here. An exponential collective effort towards lowering consumption may yield space of resources for the underprivileged, at least the unstretched rubber band.  At the very least, every individual should have access to the unstretched rubber band of necessities.

Defining these fundamental needs should be a global social endeavor. Clothing, food, shelter, and transportation are universal basics, while other amenities may vary across cultures.  In the fierce pursuit of stretching our metaphorical rubber bands to their maximum extent, I believe we have lost sight of our shared humanity.  From the Elastic limits of rubber to plastic limits and brittleness of the socioeconomic system e.g. highly developed economies.

This assertion holds as this pursuit consumes our time, energy, and efforts, leading to an internal crisis of identity. Even those we perceive as enlightened individuals, who have cultivated their inner consciousness, often find themselves succumbing to advanced forms of consumption that elude the grasp of ordinary minds.  Hence, the definitions, acquisitions, and justifications of needs and luxuries remain susceptible to variability and interpretation. Suppose each individual adheres to the concept of the unstretched Rubber Band or stretches it slightly without jeopardizing the basics of others, as well as considering the global nature, climate, and environment. In that case, I speculate that society as a whole might progress toward a utopian ideal, albeit perhaps not in absolute terms, but at least to some degree.

Counter narrative with analytics as well as critical reasoning welcoming.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today





Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme

Latest article

More article

- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme