My favorite quote comes from Franz Kafka, possibly from his book, “The Metamorphosis”, but it could have been from another one of his works. I’m not positive that it’s originally from him or not, but that’s as far back as I can trace it. Kafka said, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.” I actually try to live my life based off of this quote. I’m not sure exactly what the quote was originally meant to explain. To me, it means to plan and be prepared for life, because anything can happen at any time. It’s important to always be prepared for any situation. For example, I don’t always know how long I’m going to be out, so it’s best to bring my medications with me just in case. I also take pain medication and see my doctor every 3 weeks for treatment. Sometimes, I get a refill on my pain meds before I’m out, because I don’t want to run out before I see her again. It’s better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. I can apply this quote to just about any aspect of my life. Being prepared, in my opinion, is always helpful.

The quote is popular it was even made into a song called, “It’s better to have, and don’t need” sung by many different artists including Don Covay, Huey Lewis & The News, Barbara Lynn, Sam Moore & Bruce Springsteen to name a few. I can see than many people interpret this quote to be about protecting oneself. For me, the quote can mean something as simple as remembering to grab my keys when I leave the house, just in case my husband doesn’t have his. This quote reminds me to be prepared in every aspect of my life, which is something I struggle with, especially when I’m dealing with depression.

Franz Kafka (1883 – 1824) is from Prague; he was a German speaking novelist and also wrote many short stories. I had to read a lot of his works throughout college, and I actually enjoyed them, at least the parts that I understood. I’m curious what this quote means to others people. How do you feel about it? How can/do you apply it to your own life?

One thought on ““Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.” – Franz Kafka

  1. I interpret it the same way you do. It is good to be prepared. And being that I have anxiety, my mind usually thinks of ALL of the possibilities so I am often over-prepared. For instance, when I pack for a vacation, I pack clothes for any weather situation. This means I take a large suitcase even for a short trip, but at least I’m ready. It has come in handy before.

    It’s interesting that you mentioned keys, because we had to learn that the hard way. We had to call a locksmith once because my husband locked the door and neither of us had our keys on us (it is one of those knob locks that you just turn…a bad habit, I have learned! Always lock with a key!) It cost us $75 for a 1 minute lock pick. Now I make sure I carry everything with me all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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