"You don't know what you've got till it's gone" - Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi; "You Don't Miss Your Water (Till Your Well Runs Dry) - Single from The Triffids.
And other such sayings that highlight the taking for granted of necessary things.
Conversely, something I've discovered in recent months is that a lot of what people think they need today and can't even imagine themselves to be without is in fact a delusion and they've confused the word necessity with luxury or desire or want.
THE CASE OF THE TUMBLE DRYER
At the start of last summer our tumble dryer burned out, broke down, shuffled off its mortal coil.
And as it was summer we said "no problem, we're not using it now anyway, we're hanging stuff up in the garden.
Autumn approached and we thought, shall we get a new one?...Naa.
We started hanging stuff up in the warm wash room, outer kitchen, boot room, whatever your social strata likes to call it, and that worked fine. Then as winter appraoched same question, same naa.
We got by and are still getting by simply by hanging stuff up.
Now here's the odd thing, other people say, "What, you've got no tumble dryer, how do you get by ?"
And here's the simple obvious answer, "The same way that most people round the world still get by and the same way my mum got by when I was a kid, we hang our clothes up to dry"
THE CASE OF THE MOBILE
Method: A couple of weeks ago my mobile started playing up, it was an easy fix that when I did it took 5 minutes, but instead of doing it there & then I decided to spend a week without a mobile phone.
Observations: I didn't miss having a phone in my pocket all the time, I didn't miss the irritating ring signal, I didn't miss being reachable all the time. However, others missed me not having a mobile. And it was the same thing, "What, you've got no mobile, how come?" And again the simple obvious answer was, "Because I don't want to carry one at the moment."
Conclusions: Mobile phones for people like me are tools, they are not necessities. But for some people they are desirable objects to show off and boast about, and yet others seem to be symbiotically connected to their android phone, "androids" now that's a really good name for such people.
THE CASE OF THE KITCHEN TAP
Then two weeks ago, our eldest son, was drinking directly from the kitchen tap, you know, head under the long arching tap, and for some reaosn he suddenly jerked up, hit the tap with his head and it snapped off, the tap that is, not his head.
First thought (PANIC), "My God, what are we going to do without a kitchen tap?"
Second thought, "We'll have to get this fixed, double quick, we NEED a kitchen tap"
Third thought, "Well the dishwasher isn't affected, and we've got other taps"
Fourth thought (CALM), "Millions of people round the world don't even have water, let alone a tap, a kitchen or a house to put them in, we'll get by, we've got other taps"
Initial action: fetching water from the laundry room, wash room, outer kitchen, boot room, whatever your social strata likes to call it, which is 7 feet from the kitchen sink and that system is still working fine.