Currently I am preparing materials for a class in which I am teaching about ‘Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs’. The overall concept is pretty cool, and I enjoy explaining it to my students: that without our most basic physical needs being met, we are unable to move on to be able to live life and reach our potential. Even if one argue and debate the finer details of Mazlow’s theory, one cannot argue this basic point.
After all, we are teaching this theory in schools, writing it in books, and like so many universal truths, this has been known and studied by people for many years.
With such an understanding that is so vital to the human existence, my question is: Why do we not apply it? How can we continue to develop and build a real, functional, effective society, full of healthy, functional, effective people, when we constantly overlook human needs and do not even adhere to the most basic laws of our physical reality? Why do we recognize this truth in thoughts and words only, and not in our deeds?
And if the human is untrustworthy to do this, why do we not establish a system that will ensure it? Why do we not ensure by rule of law that the most basic needs of the human will be met? Why do we not base our economic system and all other sub-systems on that which is known to be best for all? Have we been living this way for so long that we have simply accepted this economic system as it is – like sheep, simply never even questioning it?
As a result, our world is a complete mess, and interestingly enough, could not be any more a spitting image of the contrary to how Mazlow depicted the human being in an ideal world where all the needs of the human in Mazlow’s theory are met. Mazlow’s ‘highest point’ for the human in his theory is that of reaching ‘self actualization’. When looking at the traits described in Mazlow’s theory of a ‘self-actualized’ person – a person who has sufficiently met all of their basic needs – it is clear that in our society today, those who have reached this ideal point of self actualization are few and far between – anomalous really. So, let’s have a look at these traits of a self-actualized person, and break down how they are reflected in human beings today.
Personality traits of self-actualized people:
Realistic and accepting – belief and religions all over the world are a testament to the extent of human delusion.
Independent, Self sufficient – Do we live in a society of people who are satisfied and secure with themselves, or do we band together in endless denominations of special interest groups to appease our insecurities? Do people have the freedom or courage to stand up to their family and society and deviate from what is expected and accepted? Or do we fear being ostracized for being different, do we fear being alone – do we live in a society where we must conform to what is expected and accepted by others, in order to survive?
Appreciative of life – How can one truly appreciate life when all beings are fighting for survival and having their most basic needs met? With half the world on the brink of poverty, there are those who are not supported well enough to truly be able to appreciate life. There is then a small percentage of people on the planet that have benefitted from the current economic system, and from such a false sense of power and self, it is highly questionable if true appreciation can come from such an understanding of what life is. American culture is often a prime example of the depravity of a spoiled human.
Concerned about humankind – very few people are, and even of the few that are – how genuine can our concern for humankind be when we are from the very beginning pitted in competition for survival against our fellow human? How can we be concerned with the well being of others when we are already preoccupied with our own survival?
Capable of loving others – how can our love for others be real when we do not ensure that the most basic needs of others are met? That is sentiment without substance.
Fair, unprejudiced – how can we be fair and unprejudiced when we compete for our very survival? We will go to any length to ensure our own survival and that of those we hold close to us – within this context, how can man truly be fair and unprejudiced?
Creative and hard working – everything is but a copy of a copy of a copy, no idea is new. How can we truly be creative when most of our energy and attention is focused purely on survival? How can we then afford to truly be creative without limitation? Work ethic is also compromised extensively within the context of the current money system as very few enjoy their work or work because they enjoy it – working as forced slaves will always breed laziness, disinterest and apathy.
Not afraid to be different – can we afford to not be afraid to be truly different? What if our families, who raise us and provide shelter – reject us? What if our friends and those we connect with, reject us? What if our employers and those who write our paychecks reject us? Ultimately, one must always conform to what is socially acceptable as a matter of survival.
Survival. That is what it is all about. Existing within the current economic system, human expression has been limited and compromised extensively, and we have never truly had the opportunity to learn what is means to live – only survive. Truly, if one use common sense, it is plain to see that the average human in this world is not reaching their full potential, and is not supported sufficiently to do so. Mazlow’s theory makes it clear: for the human to reach the point of self actualization, the basic needs of the human must be met – currently that is not the case in this world, and thus it is not secret why we do not live to our full potential.
What is fact has been reduced to an ideal, a theory – Mazlow’s theory – and what could be of human potential then becomes anomalous. Jesus Christ was an anomaly – yet he taught equality, this was his message to us – to stand as his equal. If everyone were a Jesus – an equal – we would have heaven on earth.
With an Equal Money System this is possible for the first time in the history of mankind – to finally realize and live the message of Jesus practically. With equal money, survival will end, and a new era for mankind will emerge where we are no longer bound to our fight for survival, and we can begin to learn what it really means to live.