Maybe Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Are All Wrong
This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project
Week 33: What Are Your Basic Needs?
“We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia
Life Lesson: What Are Your Basic Needs?
Last week we talked about define who we are from our internal world rather than external world. We tried to rid our identity of labels with “assumed roles” to define who we feel we are at our deepest levels, -our souls. This week, we expand on the theme of internal and external influences, but more specifically needs.
More than often, we put the external world in which we live in before anything else. We put our jobs first, the carpool first, the expenses, etc., well before we put our internal needs and desires. We are raised to believe that “This is how you live”, -this is what is means to be a “productive member of society”.
In 1943, humanistic psychologist, Abraham Maslow proposed his theory of The Hierarchy of Needs. This hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs. He displayed this hierarchy as a period. At the foundation level, humans much fulfill basic physical needs like food and shelter before moving onto other needs, such as self-esteem and relationships needs.
This theory does makes sense. However, I recently came across a somewhat opposing viewpoint by Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakenings that I found just as true. Nepo writes:
While this is in part true, I believe there is a dimension of the inner life that is as imperative and equivalent as food and shelter. Without the fulfillment of these basic inner needs, we are just fed and sheltered bodies void of life. Without love, truth, and compassion, all the comforts of modern life don’t matter, because we are simply reduced to biological machines, not even as present as animals.
Nepo argues that when we begin to live our life from the perspective that basic needs must be met first, the result is that we often defer the risk to love in the process. We make comments like, Read more