These are possibly the three most powerful words in existence. We all want to be wanted. From the moment we’re born, our very physical and psychological survival depends on it. Being wanted by our parents is the single biggest factor in determining our future self-image, our level of confidence, our success. I think that not feeling wanted as a child can determine how vulnerable we become in later life to those who would exploit that unmet need.
Later, our need to be wanted expands to include our communities. Didn’t we all hold our collective breath as team captains fought over their first picks, silently hoping that we wouldn’t be the last to be chosen? I don’t think we ever outgrow our need to be wanted. The power of those words is only intensified in the context of personal intimacy—no more powerful words could be whispered in someone’s ear by candlelight. Many would do or give just about anything to hear those words–even their very lives.
There is no better illustration of this than those sacred words being used for the single most successful war propaganda campaign in history by Uncle Sam, a fictional relative created by a brilliant psychologist on the government payroll. James Montgomery Flagg is the artist who sold out to advertising agency Calkins and Holden, the founder of which invented consumer engineering and planned obsolescence.
Welcome to fictional reality!