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What do we truly require most?

While growing up, Disney movies and Nickelodeon were keen influences on my way of life.

One of my favorites still rings true today

Disney’s version of “The Jungle Book.”

Its catchy song “Bear Necessities” has given me a few “ah-ha!” moments while replaying it in my head.

“Look for the bare necessities

The simple bare necessities

Forget about your worry and your strife

I mean the bare necessities

That’s why a bear can rest at ease

The simple bare necessities of life.”

Yes! The simple bare necessities of life and the ability to live with little and be grateful for what you have now — this is what I often find myself inspiring students with, and for good reason.

After a devastating house fire in 2011, my husband and I were left with nothing but the clothes on our back. We were graciously sent donations from our fantastic Beaufort community, and I learned quickly what it was like to live with bare necessities. Food, clothing and a hotel room for shelter were what we had. This experience quickly shifted our definition of what was necessary and what was important.

People, not things, were most important now.

How often do you find yourself wanting something so terribly bad, yet when you receive it the wanting begins to fade? How much time do you spend creating this idea that more is better?

This moment in my life — when we were down to our bare necessities — I felt completely free. It was an enormously cleansing experience, not only to begin again in such a new way, but to experience the gift of community, compassion and love allowed for my husband and I to overcome attachment. We had nothing more to be attached to — no memorabilia, no old journal stories, no clothes, and no materialistic items — simply because it was all gone.

It really was almost as if “The Jungle Book,” this simple piece of my childhood, was coming to mean something more than just a movie. After realizing the “bear necessities” in my life, and how incredibly freeing they allowed me to feel, this particular lyric rings true in my life now:

“And don’t spend your time lookin’ around

For something you want that can’t be found

When you find out you can live without it