An honest reimagining of the English language might see the word “kid” replaced – or at least synonymized – with “mooch.” Let’s evaluate the evidence from when we were kids: we didn’t pay rent, the highest method we knew of procuring food and water involved appending an unprompted “please” to our request, doors and refrigerators were more fun opened than closed, and the dog was, for at least a year or two, both a more eloquent conversationalist and a strong contender for the smartest creature on all fours. It checks out. We were all freeloaders.
Put another way, we’ve all relied on others to survive. Before we are ever able to contribute to the people around us, we consume the resources we need: housing, food, water, energy, and information. We are so ill-equipped to service our own needs that we don’t know that we have them before we require their delivery. We cry, we hunger, we thirst, we shiver, and we hurt ourselves doing what we don’t yet know will cause us harm. But someone provided for us based on aspiration and the promise of what our lives would bring.
We know what happens when people can’t get what they need because we can see it around us: homelessness, malnutrition, disease, lower levels of participation in the economy and society, and preventable death. What would be possible if everyone simply had what they needed – if they were as lucky as those of us reading this are? What would it look like to share the same hope for others that was shared with us? What would it require of us? To expand this inquiry and further investment in the success of those in need, our economy, and our society, we’ve laid out our thoughts and related research on necessities below.