What are your needs today? Have you ever thought about current needs and wants?

When I was a college student in 1955, I was introduced to Abraham Maslow in my psychology class. The professor put things in perspective: “If you are starving and a beautiful woman comes to you carrying a big hamburger, do you need the hamburger or do you want her?”

Needs or wants?

We studied Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” presented in a pyramid diagram. At the bottom were the physiological needs — air, water, food, shelter, clothing and reproduction. We moved up the next level to safety and security needs. Next, psychological needs — belonging and love. At level four was self-esteem.

At the top of the pyramid was self-actualization. (We become the most that one can be.) Have you made it to the top?

A regular reader of this column, Sharon from Georgia, turned my attention to a new book, “Let This Be the Time” by Janet Schaeffler. It covers the many challenges and opportunities that seniors experience in the second half of life.

The author focuses on the 12 needs of the elderly in 12 meaningful chapters with points to ponder, wonder and converse. It is a “spiritual essentials for life’s second act.”

The book begins with “the need to live a life of meaning and purpose” followed by “the need for love and relationships.” Moving on, there is “the need to ask and explore questions.” As we age, we think we have the answers, but nobody is asking us any questions.

“The need to continue to learn and grow” is followed by “the need to navigate change and transition.” (How are you doing trying to get an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine?)

At the halfway point, there is “the need to cope with losses.” As we reflect on our life’s journey, there is “the need to be grateful” and “the need to forgive.” Along with these needs is “the need to give.”

As the book ends, there is “the need for spiritual integration.” It covers time for openness and prayer. The discovery in this section is powerful.

Finally, “the need to let go: to simplify.” The hardest challenge is “the need to prepare for dying and death.”

How can you reflect and act on your current life needs and wants?