arranged love
We need but do not want each other?

Need and want are not a dichotomy like short and tall, big and small, or good and evil. However, our lives, that is, the human condition are characterizable by needs and wants. We surely need a lot of ‘things’ to live and survive, such as food and shelter and then some. We surely also want a lot of ‘things’ while living and surviving, such as food and shelter and then some.

What about art? Is it a need or a want? A little of each, a little more of this than that? Can we do without art? If we think of needs as indispensable items, as things we cannot do without, we might want to think of wants as optional items on the list. Wants are items that make life better, but we can do without them.

Primates do not know art (symbolism) and early hominins apparently managed to live without creating art — until they began to imagine. Nowadays, art is not a need per se, but a want. Yes, it is hard to imagine living in an artless world.

Well, all that is obviously a raw simplification of matters as there really is no sharp line that can be drawn between what people might identify as need or want.

What about love? Is love a need or a want? When considering the three cornerstones of living, that is, sex, love and family, we might want to say that these are needs and wants. Humans cannot do without them, and it is better the more we have of them.

What about personal, intimate, passionate, erotic love between a man and a woman? Is the fact that men and women do get together in such relationships based on need or want or both? I belittle marriages a bit that are motivated by mere needs, that is, when a man and a woman need and want a relationship but, in the end, do not really want each other. There is little love lost then in such a relationship.

It is scary to imagine living in a loveless world full of pragmatism.


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