Meeting Needs, Increasing Joy

Meeting Needs, Increasing Joy

Around Purim at Makom Community you’re likely to notice us jumping and dancing while singing MisheNichnas Adar marbin besimchah – in the Jewish month of Adar, our joy increases. What can we do to help ourselves feel joyful? One avenue to joy that we explored was getting our needs met. We differentiated between two types of needs: surviving needs and thriving needs. The one will keep us alive, but the other will help us flourish, experience joy, and be our best selves.

What is an example of a surviving need? 

  • Food
  • Water
  • Hugs
  • Gloves when you go skiing
  • Clothes, especially in the winter when you’re cold

How do you feel when your surviving needs aren’t met?

  • Hangry (hungry and angry)
  • Mad, like I don’t want to help anyone else
  • Depends on what the surviving need is. Sometimes I’m hungry, sometimes I’m cold. Mostly I just get mad

How do you feel when you can help someone else get their surviving needs met? 

  • It depends on what it is. If it’s something that I also really want, then I’m not going to be very happy if someone else is getting it instead of me. 
  • I help my mom with some surviving needs, but mostly because she tells me to. 
  • It makes me feel happy that I could make someone smile. 
  • If I’m giving something to someone that I don’t want anymore, it makes me feel good that I’m not just throwing it away. 

We related ideas about helping others meet their needs to the story we’re learning about Rut and Naomi. Rut decided to find a farm harvesting barley and walk behind the reapers, gleaning the grain that they dropped. When the farm’s owner Boaz noticed her he ordered his reapers to be particularly kind to her, encouraged her to stay in his fields rather than go to another farm, and offered her food to eat and water to drink. Boaz went out of his way to help Rut and Naomi meet both their surviving need of food and their thriving need of community and belonging.

I gave each of the garinim (preK and K kids) an example of a thriving need. I asked them to think of a time when that need was met for them and how it made them feel.

  • Need: help and support
    Scenario: when my eye was bleeding and my sister took care of me
    Feeling: it was nice for her to be nice to me
  • Need: self-expression and creativity
    Scenario: when I made a project in art class
    Feeling: I felt good about it! Especially after I made a mistake and my teacher helped me fix it.
  • Need: Choice and autonomy
    Scenario: when my parents asked me if I wanted to play princess or clean the mirror
  • Need: Listening and understanding
    Scenario: my mom listened to me
  • Need: Safety and trust
    Scenario: when I was crossing the street with my parents and protected by my car
    Feeling: fun!
  • Need: Play and fun
    Scenario: whenI was at the playground with my friend and we were running around and being sneaky
    Feeling: happy
  • Need: Friends, Community, and Belonging
    Scenario: I feel like I belong at my house
    Feeling: happy

When was a time that you helped someone else meet a thriving need?

  • I helped my friend when I took them to the nurse when they were hurt.
  • I helped someone get a drink of water.
  • I helped my cat feel safe when I held her hand when she got her ears pierced.
  • I listened to my mom and got the things she asked for. I was also helping my brother because the things were for him.
  • I was able to get something from low down for my mom when she was cooking dinner and couldn’t bend over because she’s pregnant.

In honor of Purim, meeting needs, and increasing joy, we’re participating in the mitzvah (commandment) of matanot la’evyonim (gifts to the poor). We’re collecting canned and dried Kosher for Passover foods to donate to the Jewish Federation Mitzvah pantry. Please consider bringing a donation to our private ComedySportz show on Sunday, and help us spread the joy!

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