Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Difference Between Need and Want...

...can be determined by cost.

Matthew approached me recently - very sweetly - and asked if I would buy him something from his book order. (Not just 'something,' actually. He wanted a specific book. The next release in a new series to which he has taken a liking.)
While I am absolutely delighted with Matthew's love for reading, I am also a big believer in utilizing the library. He reads and reads, and if I were to buy every book he wanted - well - I couldn't. Not enough money!
Anyway, I asked him about getting the book from the library. He placed a phone call and learned the library doesn't have the book yet. And Matthew didn't want to wait for it. He said he needed a book right away because he finished the last one he was reading, and he's supposed to read 100 pages per week for his language arts class, so he really needed me to buy this book for him, because - clearly - he couldn't get it from the library. Not sure he comprehended the fact that a book from the book order would take a couple weeks to come in. Wasn't feeling the need to argue that point. *wink*
The book he wanted was $12, and I asked Matthew how much he would be willing to contribute toward the purchase of said book. (I know he has money!) He shrugged his shoulders and offered $3. When I smirked at his not-so-generous suggestion, Matthew reminded me that he really needed the book. I said I'd think about it.

Fast-forward approximately 36 hours.
Although I didn't understand why Matthew couldn't wait for the library to get the book (OK. I understand not wanting to wait. Believe me. I understand that! I just mean, he could certainly pick another book to read in the interim.) I decided I would help him get the book. Except, my counter-offer was $6. When he was getting his things ready for school in the morning I got $6 and said, "Here, Matthew. I have $6 you can use to get that book you need. You'll have to contribute the other $6."
His reply? "Oh, I don't want to buy it anymore."

So there you have it. For $3 the book was a need, but for $6 it was a want.
An unwanted-want, that is! *wink*


No comments: