There are real needs. And then there are perceived needs. But often we confuse our perceived needs with our real needs, thinking that whatever we think we need, we truly need them.

Now that governments are stepping out to help people through this difficult time, people with needs become even more visible. Yet governments deal with entire nations, so they can’t tell exactly which needs are real and which are perceived.

But we can as individuals.

If we reflect on our situations objectively.

Maybe some of us lost jobs or got a pay cut. But we have enough savings to ride out the next 6 months or more. Or we are still having enough income to cover basic expenses. So do we really need extra financial support? Or are those needs just perceived needs?

Or maybe some feel like they need more support now that their children are a huge distraction at home during their working hours. They could even want help from governments to defray the increase in bills incurred by the need to stay at home. But hey, others don’t even have the luxury of having a job to support themselves this very moment.

I think most of the time, our perceived needs are really just our wants. Focus on them too much, and it’s easy to become self-entitled.

When we become self-entitled, we try to find every loophole we can to claim for all sorts of grants and payouts. But if we all do that, we deny help to those who truly need it. Those who can’t afford basic necessities.

On the other extreme, we see lots of condemnation around, people calling others out for selfish and inconsiderate acts. No, we shouldn’t condone those acts.

But instead of wasting time and energy to call out those who have become self-entitled this season, why not spend that time and energy to look out for someone that you can be generous to? Whether it’s financial help, emotional support, running errands, or simply a smile and look of understanding. Bit by bit, we can shift the atmosphere of our society.

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