Food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe. Without these things, our lives would very quickly be brought to a grinding halt. We need them just to survive. We fulfill these primary needs without even thinking. But we have deeper, secondary needs that are not critical to our survival. We can survive without them for years in many cases. But they are essential if we are going to thrive in any (or all) of the four aspects of our lives—physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. When our secondary needs are being fulfilled, we begin to blossom and bloom as human beings. For example, if we want to thrive at Christmas we cannot simply eat cookies, open presents, spread a little holiday cheer, and call it a day. We need to be present to our loved ones, and we need to spend time in quiet prayer and reflection.
To go deeper into this topic, check out Part 2, Chapter 2 (“Understanding Our Legitimate Needs”) in Matthew Kelly’s book The Rhythm of Life.