Real issues facing the world today are the realities that we are no longer in a position to hunt and gather our own food. All of our physiological needs are outsourced to other people who build our houses, design our cars, manufacture our food and create community infrastructure.
As we move away from utilizing our bodies as they were intended, ie: functioning physically to meet these needs, we are finding ourselves sitting around and just thinking.
Thinking a lot. Who am I? What is my purpose? What is his or her purpose? What feels good? What feels bad?
These thoughts race through our heads the more we lose the distractions of having to care for ourselves. This presents a very real issue in society.
Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs is a great psychological model that describes the importance of certain mind functions we commit to during our lives.
Abraham Maslow (1954) presents a hierarchy of needs model which can be divided into basic (or deficiency) needs (e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem) and growth needs (cognitive, aesthetics and self-actualization). One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization. Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences including divorce and loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of he hierarchy. Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivation primarily based on esteem, love and other social needs. Excerpt from SimplyPsychology.org
When self actualization becomes more dominant in our daily routines, it abstracts what we feel are the most relevant topics to consider. The lesson here is we must be patient with others in understanding the existential issues that arise from having a more actualization culture are natural.
We are commonly seeking answers to our deep philosophical questions in ways we don’t recognize. While many of us are not as deep as others, there are many cases where misinterpretation is likely.
Since this article only lightly brushes on the topic of self actualization, we will discuss in depth in the future about how this affects society specifically. It is important for us to practice mindfulness daily. Recently a quote has stuck with me in particular, “He who lives in the past is depressed. He who lives in the future is anxious. He who lives in the moment is at peace.”