Unmet non-material needs

“People don’t need enormous cars; they need admiration and respect. They don’t need a constant stream of new clothes; they need to feel that others consider them to be attractive, and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don’t need electronic entertainment; they need something interesting to occupy their minds and emotions. And so forth.

Trying to fill real but nonmaterial needs -for identity, community, self-esteem, challenge, love, joy- with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to never-satisfied longings. A society that allows itself to admit and articulate its nonmaterial human needs, and to find nonmaterial ways to satisfy them, would require much lower material and energy throughputs and would provide much higher levels of human fulfillment.”

Donella H. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows. The Limits to Growth: The 30-year Update (2006), Chapter 7: Transitions to a sustainable system, Page 261.

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