Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kan Membeli Mobile - Needs, Necessity, .... Luxury

Yesterday, my relatively new “Life’s Good” so called smart mobile phone suddenly went stupid on me. Getting a new mobile phone is the last thing on my wish list but it seems I have to get one now. Fortunately, my old and trusted, “Connecting People” very smart very reliable phone came to the rescue. It still works despite lying in limbo on the desk. Good enough for now ......

Nowadays, being in contact 247, within reach 247 seems to be a necessity in life. The most common or shall I say the most popular (the word common and popular conjures different perceptions) is the mobile phone. It seems everyone has one, from the old to the young, different types from the technologically advance smart phones to the very basic to text and call only phones. Go to a mobile phone shop, you can get a phone for less than twenty dollars a month. Yes that’s cheap only twenty dollars a month BUT over seven years. 7 years? Doubt if the phone will last that long. Some people kept changing phones like changing shirts. Some have it like an annual ritual, getting one for every birthday. Some, every two to three years. Seldom we see someone holding to a mobile phone for that long, 7 years! I let you do the maths (I admit despite being brilliant in counting in my school days, years of lack of practice, make the brain very rusty! Betagar, in need of WD40), but I am sure paying $20 over 7 years will have you ending up paying almost double the actual price.

Walk into an electrical shop, you can get a plasma or LCD TV for $50 a month. That’s cheap, on the surface of it. But work it out over 7 years, you are paying a bomb! Yet, more and more people are using this option to get the goods these days. We end up having a society of people in debt (Club HKK... Hutang Keliling Pinggang!). Who is to blame for this? The banks? You can’t really blame them. They are just doing business providing a service that’s in demand. So who? (Hot in the news as I am typing this: the American Government is cracking on the credit card companies... what an irony!)

The list of so call necessary things in life is indeed very long. Cars, TV, phones, handbags, shoes, audio video home theatre systems, astros etc etc. Are these things necessities or are they luxuries? (Not the luxury biscuits we enjoyed in the office).

Maslow stated, in his hierarchy of needs theory, human has 5 levels of need (in order of importance) : physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self actualisation. The basic need is the physiological: breathing, Physiological needs , the very basic needs, include breathing, water, sleep, air, food, excretion, sex (really?), clothing and shelter.

Without going into the theory, ( I admit I am not an expert), it can be seen food and shelter are the basics of the basic human needs. Imagine hearing from a friend, whose wife is teacher in a school, of kids being hungry, nothing to eat at home. This alone should make us think and look at our priorities. Not the smart phones, not the LCD TVs, not the cars nor the fancy shoes and handbags. Our priorities should be, must be,to meet our basic needs, food and shelter.

A basic house or shelter will be a good start ...... after all, what’s the use of having the LCD TVs if you have to watch it under the open sky, romantic as it may seems to be.

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