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Priorities, Wants, Needs, Money, Choices, Family, Career
Courtesy, Challenges, Diversity, Non-Fiction, Self-Help



Understanding the Difference between Wants and Needs

PRIORITIES… is a narrative written by Elizabeth Stuart-Grimes about how to get back to basics while still progressing forward. A bit like reading someone’s personal journal, PRIORITIES… developed into a book designed to help people come to grips with life in the modern, twenty-first century.

PRIORITIES… is about understanding the difference between our wants and our needs; between empathy and sympathy; how to co-exist with others’ beliefs; and how to see our personal challenges as a plus. It’s about finding our own version of common sense.





Elizabeth's podcast - Michael Dresser Show Interview

Daily Life 

            This is where the questions start: What do you want? What do you need? Are you imposing your desires on others without giving consequence to the needs of family and friends? It’s the cause and effect of our modern world and how to cope with it (and survive).

Family Life

            This is about choices that have to be made as a family. You are no longer alone; and your desires no longer come first. How you behave has consequences. What happens to your life when children depend on you; meaning the time, money, and effort required to keep everything pulled together? Why communication, trust and respect is so vital.


Raising Children

            Stories about how to deal with demanding little persons who didn’t arrive with an instruction book. Learning how to reprimand while still maintaining a respectful relationship. How to deal with friends who don’t set a good example in front of your children. How to balance the wants and needs in YOUR life to handle the wants and needs of those who depend on you.



            One of the more difficult chapters because there are no right answers. Once this fact is accepted, then it’s about figuring out what is the best type of education for each child. How to deal with the internet; positive and negative influences; learning disabilities; and where to find the funds to pay for a private education if it’s required.


Life’s Challenges: Great and Small

            Everyone faces some sort of challenge in their life. This chapter tries to instill empathy into people’s vocabulary by explaining that “there is no such thing as normal.” We have to understand that while some people have visible challenges, many have invisible ‘demons’ following them every day. Ms. Stuart-Grimes is very honest about her own shortcomings in this chapter; how she coped with them throughout her life and career, and what they taught her. By the end of this chapter, you should feel better about your own challenges or deficiencies because they have made you stronger!



            The funny thing about this chapter is you call tell Ms .Stuart-Grimes is a New Englander. The old Puritan Work Ethic shines through the whole chapter (though it is never mentioned specifically). The chapter tries to teach people how to have an honest relationship with money. To understand how to spend wisely; what it means ‘to be hungry’ in the modern world. The chapter very clearly states that – notably Americans – need to learn to not spend what they don’t have. Avoid credit at all costs because we never know what will happen tomorrow… It ends with the classic understatement: ‘Do you want it or do you need it?’ A lot of people have trouble with this in the present consumption-oriented society.



            Work comes after Money and Education to show the connection between the three subjects. It covers a lot of topics mostly related to growing up and no longer acting like someone without responsibilities. It’s about how to behave so you succeed at your job and at being ‘you’.


“Mother’s Work”

            This is what you expect it to be. Explaining the basics about physiology but also about equality and sharing the world at home. It was obviously written by a woman, because only a woman would be so frank and straightforward about just how tired women are when they have two full time jobs…



            This is short, sweet and to the point and written after the couple had been living in France for a long time, where people are notoriously rude. As Ms. Stuart-Grimes puts it, ‘Courtesy is Free! So be nice!’



            This chapter explains how to talk to your kids, make them aware of risks and the word ‘NO’ (which will hopefully also help some readers). It deals with the relatively new phenomenon on college campuses of ‘sex friends’ (friends with benefits) but also how to maintain a healthy sexual relationship through honesty and communication throughout your life.



            The two main points are how to prepare financially so you can retire and how to retire gracefully so you can enjoy yourself. There’s a side message in the chapter that also deals with how to cope if you are suddenly left alone; that being alone does not mean sitting around waiting to die.


Life and Death

            People die but life goes on. This chapter is how people deal. Ms. Stuart-Grimes is not offering solutions; she’s offering stories about how others have moved forward. She talks about some of her own difficult situations that changed the way she lives; what it was like living through the AIDS epidemic in the 1980-90s, and how grief effects people differently.


Living in Society

            This chapter, along with the one on life’s challenges, present a few of the most worthy concepts. Ms. Stuart-Grimes talks about studying history to understand the errors of our ancestors and how we should all pay more attention and stop making the same mistakes. Religious wars will never be won so we should stop trying to compare whose god is better. This is about respecting each person’s beliefs as we individually wish to be respected.



Kennedy Obohwemu