The Customer is KING

Want vs. Need.  At Farmington Woods Elementary School students are given an assignment to identify the difference between a want and a need.  Needs, as one might guess, are identified as such things as food, water, and shelter.  

Pirates of the Caribbean Lego characters fall in to the category of:  WANT.  Yet, somehow when my son starts talking about The Pirates of the Caribbean Lego set it sounds more like an obsession. One who doesn’t have a mother’s ear or common sense might begin to be persuaded that he NEEDS it.  

Recently we removed cable.  It was a mainly a math thing as cable was a heavy hitter in our budget.  We have not missed it much but the thing I have missed the least are commercials.  (Although DVR does wonders for those too!)  Commercials are very convincing and can somehow create the belief that one might “need” the item being advertised.  (Even though 30 seconds earlier they didn’t know it existed!)  I am guilty of this too.  Commercials and other advertisements remind me I do not have the newest version of the IPhone.  They also make me keenly aware of the Papa John’s pizza that I haven’t eaten in a long time and the fact that I might be slightly hungry.  Commercials also point out that I have had my couch forever and my old just might need to be replaced.   I thought by eliminating cable we would not only lesson the load on our wallets, we might also avoid some of the begging from my children, or the freshly planted ideas that suggest they “need” something new.

Unfortunately, the internet side-swiped me on the “gimmes.”  I found my children lingering on the Lego and American Girl sites–not playing games–but window shopping.  They kept looking at the same pages fixating on the toys they did not have.   If it was not, “can I have?” then it was, “for my birthday I would like,” but it was CONSTANT and I was over it.  Consider yesterday:  I decided to limit online use to the weekends and guess what?  The “needs” and “requests” significantly decreased!  I mean…significantly like by 4-5 less days per week.  My children when not constantly reminded of what they don’t have…actually simply played with what they DO have.  

Adults are not exempt from getting a case of the gimmes.  We don’t know we “need” something until a friend or neighbor shows us how great their item is.  When we don’t hang out at Target or Home Goods we do not realize what awesome things our house or closets are missing.  Commercials are meant to entice us and trigger hunger when it doesn’t exist.  This is a bizarre/obvious phenomenon, but one way we can unclutter our lives is to do less window shopping.  A LOT less.  

I realized the best way to limit my kiddos requests for things they THINK they NEED is to limit their window shopping.  To  not have those things constantly paraded in front of them.  I think the same goes for adults.  I don’t need to constantly visit stores that have plenty of things begging to be bought when I have no need for them and they only clutter up my home and life.  

I recently met a woman who for one solid year has decided that she is not going to buy anything new for herself.   (Don’t think she was talking about coffee or lunch…but new material items.)   I think it is an awesome idea…but even wondered what that might look like for 1 month…or 2?   One of the ways we simplify is to get rid of the old and NOT get anything new.  

This video powerfully spoke to me and made me want to simplify…it rings so true as we see the “Gimmes” played out in day to day life.  It both convicts and nauseates me at the same time.  (Customer is King) Today in an attempt to simplify I will do less window shopping…a LOT less.  Because I am not king…He is King. 

May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,


4 thoughts on “The Customer is KING

  1. We did this for a month. It was a spend-less or spend less month. That's what we called it. No spending except for needs like gas, groceries and things we were already committed to. No eating out, renting movies, or buying new things. It was eye opening!! I found I personally was using spending and eating out as an emotional crutch instead of turning to God! We haven't done this in a while but we are doing it again for the month of October. It's not easy but feels good at the end of the month. Your bank account thanks you too!


  2. Oh Kate I bet when you saw the title of this blog your blood pressure began to raise! Yes, I am becoming acutely aware of this disease and until I saw it in my own children I was having a hard time recognizing it in myself! Humbling but good for all. Miss you friend!


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