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Human Needs of the 21st Century

By Udbhav Prasad

If we were to be asked this question, we could fill the lists with our spectrum of desires and requirements- beginning nowadays with the internet, the smart phone, the branded clothes you had bought at the mall, the luxury car you want to drive, the dream home on that perfect location, you had been keeping your eyes on, it adds up from such comfort facilities to the social settings that we yearn for, that ‘much-deserved’ promotion or the business deal which you had been working for, etc. The things that a person would put up in this list would be generally the things which would bring more comfort, more excitement, more prestige, more status, more recognition and so on.

As an ordinary person is engaged in the daily routine for sustenance, the majority of their thoughts revolve around the fulfilment of their work and family goals. While somebody needs to finish the target-assignment, someone else is busy in the medical care of their dear ones.

Throughout this wide spectrum, we see the diversity of the needs that shall be put up in the list of needs by each person, this is due to diverse situations and scenarios that the people are today living in. While someone in the arid places are struggling to gather drinking water, somewhere else we could find a party with those water showers, while people in many parts of the world are finding it difficult to find food for their meals, there are many nations where food is wasted in enormous quantities.

We see people living in the cities like Mumbai and Beijing, where some houses are smaller than the washrooms of a luxury hotel. While governments and international bodies are involved in their abilities to provide the solutions for this vast differences in what is called as the standard of livelihood, in order to help the less fortunate ones.

The idea of this diverse scenario raises thoughts regarding about who needs what, but before deciding that the question of prior importance is why? What do people really need, are their needs the same as their government is telling them, or are they what the commercials are talking about, or do the needs pertain to any religious scripture or any spiritual teaching. There are many believes in this matter, each differing to the other and each establishing their supremacy over the other.

But for us what would we put on that needs list to be able to choose rightly in the sense of wisdom to the correctness of time that we are present in. What we may try to figure out is what everyone requires that is common amongst all the human beings regardless of the economic system they believe in or the form of government/authority they are living under. What are the basic needs of humans today? Are they the same that were publicised as ‘food, water, clothing and shelter’, or is there anything more to this standard definition of human needs.

Although as we have seen the diversity in needs of the people of diverse scenarios, to derive the answer for the list of common basic human needs, let us first take into consideration what the needs are for and where. What we have in common to all the people in the world is the planet, our blue plant, the Earth. So, before we decide what we need for ourselves in our lives and homes, let us think things about our planet on which we all live. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Author: Udbhav Prasad is from the Batch of 2017–19. He was a part of LitCell and has been a writer for the upcoming book by Sam Pitroda

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