Tuesday, 18 May 2010

What Is It You Need

Before I begin this post I need to give all my overseas friends a small bit of Scottish insight. In Scotland a lot about a person is judged, wrongly, by the football team you support. For most young students the thought of not supporting any team is just not a thought that crosses the mind. It was the same about religion where I taught.

My students asked, “Are you a catholic or a protestant?” Now you could not answer that you were a Buddhist. They would then ask you “Are you a protestant or a catholic Buddhist?”

So the master had gathered his students. “What is it in life you need?” he asked. The first student replied, “I want knowledge.” “I see,” said the master. So it went on, each student saying he wanted something else. Each time the same reply from the master, until one student said, “I seek only that which you will give.” “Then for you there is hope said the master.”

An open mind is one ready to learn. This is the way of the Tao.

Hundreds of years later, in a school in Scotland, the teacher asked her pupils, “What do you need at home?”

Jenny said, “We need a computer miss.” “Well that would be good,” answered the teacher. Jimmy said, “We need a car miss.” “I see,” said the teacher that would be good also.

Wee Johnny said, “We do not need anything miss.”

“Oh you must need something.”

“No miss, we dinnae need anything.”

“How can you be so sure Johnny?”

“Well when my big sister came home and told my dad she was dating a Rangers supporter. My dad said, “Well that’s all we need now then.

Needs are indeed always relative to the situation we find ourselves in.

This blog is linked to my other where I talk about the artwork used:- Snowflake


  1. Good Morning. Ralph, I am alive and well! I am mostly a recycling artist, using scrapes of steel to make workable abstract for the garden.
    This causes me to spend a lot of time at the local scrap yard, "the dump". If I were still a school teacher I would have my students spend a week at the dump. It is a lesson in economics as some of it is valuable and most of it is headed to China where they reshape it and sell it back to us. But mostly it is a lesson in the lie we live. The dump is full of things "we need" and discard indiscriminately: cars, of course, and televisions, the latest excersize equipment, patio furniture, toys, and everything you have ever seen! Probably the worst offense I have seen
    would be truckloads of metal (anything and everything) imported objects from China that have a little flaw that prevents retail sale. This "Stuff" is not worth repairing nor the postage to send it back to china! Yet we coveted
    it and when we see it on the shelves again without a scrath, we will buy it! Keep it a couple years and send it to the dump anyway! The steel is salvaged so that is only a loss to our pocketbook and an admission of no taste. But the
    oils and ash and garbage are buried in the Earth to fester and if I could show my students these pits even they would cry. Be very careful of needful things!

  2. This simply made me laugh, Ralph. Relativity. Its something, yes?

  3. Wants and needs rarely fit the same category. But sometimes - in perfect moments, you realize that you have all you want and all you need. Very nice feeling, indeed!

  4. this one made me laugh..nice painting too