Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"want" and "need"

My older son, Angus, took a leap of faith and recently moved to Georgia (U.S.) to work for a company that trains track athletes. The pay is poor as it is for all coaches who have not yet attained the inner circle. Still, the reasons for taking the position impressed me: 1. He loves it and 2. Who wants to look back and wonder "what if I had....?"

Now he is back in Massachusetts for a visit and has been touching base with one-time co-workers who did not take a similar leap -- people who stayed on while he struck out.

I gather it is all a bit odd for him, reconnecting with people who stayed put. Why didn't they strike out and begin the coaching ladder ascent? A sliver of a voice suggests that not striking out is somehow less ballsy than making the big move that is full of uncertainty.

Or anyway, that was a part of my thinking when we talked a bit about it.

But then I had to correct myself. Not making a leap of faith is every bit as ballsy as making one. It is a choice that will echoechoecho. And it made me think of the realms of "want" and "need."

Who knows what another person wants and needs? Hell, it's hard enough to sort out and balance the two within, let alone judging someone else's choices. For some, the adventure of striking out and traveling in new lands is just the ticket -- the thing that will broaden their horizons and nourish the "want" plant that craves sustenance. But for others, the "need" for stability and love and family is paramount ... the card that trumps all others. Which is which? Which holds the winning formula? Which croons more sweetly? Which is more reliable?

I "want" X
I "need" Y

Is that comparing/contrasting apples-and-oranges or apples-and-apples or oranges-and-oranges? Are they the same and different or just different or just the same...?

It would be better if I kept my thoughts to myself when gauging the courage and cowardice, energy and weakness, wisdom and ignorance of another. If I sometimes cannot figure it out for myself, where do I get off applying my judgments to others?

But that, of course, is why the internet created blogs.


  1. Regret is suffering is inescapable. Pick your poison as they say.

  2. Phys Ed majors have many valid options besides attempting to climb the ladder of College or Professional Coaching.

    In my day most high school jocks with the C average went into the college phys ed department. I didn’t get the sense that these guys aspired to anything more than to become high school gym teachers, if they didn’t make it in a college sport. The thinking was, I believe, one needed credentials as an athlete before they be taken seriously as a coach.

    1. But today people who majored in Physical Education can do many things. One who is willing to work early and late in the day in certain communities and have the right personality and training skills, personal training can be quite lucrative. Many gyms have need for class leaders as well as trainers.

      Then there’s Pilates.

      If one is already strongly inclined, it seems that being a Yoga Instructor can be more lucrative than practicing law. Even better if one spends time at a respected ashram in India.

      There’s also the world of personal coaching tennis, swimming, etc.

      So, what does faith have to do with any of this?
      Self confidence first and foremost.

    2. Almost forgot.

      There’s a whole world of martial arts.