While out shopping yesterday, my son (6 years old with autism) said something that is so profoundly brilliant that it took a little while to realize the whole scope of it.
You have to realize that this is a boy who really has no concept of the value of money except that we parents make it and use it to buy them stuff. He doesn’t really get that some things can cost more than others or that sometimes we just don’t have the money for what he wants.
“Stuff that we need shouldn’t cost anything because we have to have it and that way, we’d have more money for the stuff we want.”
Simple right? Makes sense too. I mean, you start to think about all of the homeless people, the hungry people… the people who need basic necessities that simply can’t get it because they have no money. They should have these things because they need these things. We all should.
The things we want, now that’s what we need to work for. That’s what we need to earn.
The things we need, we deserve… simply by being human. The things we want, we have to work hard to deserve.
So it stands to reason that, if society could be revamped, from the ground up, the things we all need should be made available to everyone while the things we want would cost money.
The problem, as my wife and I saw it, is that most people don’t really know what they need. For example, most people think they need their cell phone. They don’t.
Many women think they need a good hair-do and make up while many men think they need access to sports or a fast car/big truck. They don’t.
It’s a bit of a warped mentality that we’ve all become accustomed to.
But I think that a system as my son envisions it, would really help to put things into perspective and firmly place that dividing line between needs and wants for us.
Another problem would be that those people that provide the shelter, food and other basic needs need to be compensated for their hard work… but with enough thought, I’m sure that could be worked out.
Anyway, I’m not trying to work out the foundation for a new society, I’m just demonstrating how sometimes the most simple, yet profound, thoughts can really get you thinking.
And it came from, of all the unlikeliest of places, my 6 year old son who really has no grasp of needs vs wants nor that of money/value on things.
Or at least, I thought he didn’t.