Sunday, 18 February 2018

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I have regularly pondered Maslow's hierarchy of needs and attempted to use it to explain social behaviours. It doesn't always work and I don't think the hierarchy is always hierarchical! (I think sometimes the bottom rungs are not met and people can still have reached self actuation for example).

However, I do think there are many things that prevent people from even striving for self-actuation and here are my thoughts....just my thoughts....and I have made sweeping generalisations.....

- self esteem has more recently been gained by showing off 'lifestyle' and possessions and there is no wonder this is the case. In the capitalist world we are sold these things as 'happiness'. We are brainwashed into continuously striving for material goods, even though we all really know they don't truly make us happy (but how would capitalism work if we weren't made to strive for these things?) Constantly chasing improved lifestyle and more possessions can keep us distracted away from the idea life might have a deeper experience to be moving towards.
- real 'belonging' has decreased. We can be duped by fear-mongering into believing the 'us' and 'them'. This can leave this 'rung' underfed and worse still, make us fearful and then hateful of others.
- instant gratification in a fast moving world. Our society doesn't currently appear to value genuine insight and wisdom. Wisdom is gained over time by reflecting. It's not very in vogue. The wise sage also doesn't have messages we want to hear because they contradicts much that we are 'sold' and wise messages are often inconvenient.
- awareness -a lack of a general drive towards the idea that self-actualisation might even be a target.

To me self-actualisation is about knowing yourself, connecting with others and showing understanding and compassion, self-compassion too, gentleness and respect, and being able to see the world with love in your eyes! (Forgive the hippy bit). If you get there - it certainly means you'll contribute to making the world a better place. Shame we are not all in the position to be striving for it!

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