Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wants or needs?

The other day, Mihiretu brought home an assignment they had done in class. They are learning about goods vs. services and wants vs. needs.

It starts out with someone buying a CD. This is a 'good' and a CD is a 'want.' So far, so good!

Next, they paid for a car wash. A car wash is a 'service' and is a 'need.' WHAT?????

Then they buy a new outfit. This is a 'good' and a 'need.' Alright, clothes are a need.

Then they got a hair cut. This is a 'service' and a 'need.' Really?

Then they bought a pizza. This is a 'good' and a 'need.' Ok, food is a need.

I asked Mihiretu if he really thought a car wash and a hair cut were really needs. He told me they had a substitute that day and this is what she said! He hadn't really thought about it, just filled in the blanks. Ugh...seriously?

I brought him back to Ethiopia. He remembers some things still. I asked him if people in Ethiopia would think a car wash or a hair cut was a need. He looked down at the floor and replied, "No."

This led to a good discussion where we talked about thinking for himself and not believing everything the teacher says all the time. If he KNOWS something to be true, no one should be able to change his mind.

I don't know this substitute but maybe she has never been to a developing country to see the difference. We live in suburbia USA where we run our cars through the car wash whenever we want to. If our hair needs color or a cut, we make the appointment and take care of it. No problem.

These things are luxuries.

But 'needs' they are NOT!!!!!

So off base in America sometimes.

Let's teach our children the difference.

Count your blessings,


  1. was this substitute a 5th grader? HA! that is funny about the brittany. Ok- not funny. but unsurprising. I had a friend who got sucked in by the utter cuteness of a beagle pup. I warned her- "Goat" I said. The day she found it standing on her counter arguing with the disposal over food- she called a local farm to see if they needed a goat that looked like a beagle. The are both great dogs in the right situation though. Nudge nudge- time for you to update the photos on the side of your blog my friend.