It’s been a tough few years and it sometimes seems that we’ve lost our sense of community, the ability to work together and help each other. Or simply put our, “We”.
Or as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs outlines – our ability to transcend our basic biological and emotional needs in order to live a more altruistic life. Abraham Maslow, one of the great psychologists of the 20th century describes 8 levels of growth that each individual has the potential to achieve.
Each of us begin life craving basic biological and physiological needs including air, food, drink, shelter, and sleep. When we achieve those, we look for safety, protection, order, limits, and stability in our life. As we continue to grow we have a need to belong and be loved, whether within a family, relationship, work or social group. Once we feel stable and loved we can begin to fulfill our needs for esteem(achievement, reputation), self-awareness (knowledge), aesthetic (beauty, balance, art), and self actualization (goal setting and self fulfillment).
Finally as we live our life, gain knowledge and develop, we look for ways that we can help others achieve growth and fulfillment. It’s the moment when you stop thinking and doing for yourself, “Me”, and begin to look at the folks around you with empathy and a need to help them. Many do this through mentoring, volunteering, parenting, and teaching. Anyone can do it. Try to find a way… a”We”… that suits you.
I keep a copy of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in my desk as a reminder to always keep striving for the “We”. We can at the very least help and respect each other. Here’s to all of us finding our “We” out of this.