It’s a daily struggle sometimes. Abraham Maslow proposed a pyramid of needs that accompanies humanistic psychology wherever it is preached. His pyramid outlined the most basic of human needs at the base – safety, a couch to think on, a roof to live under, a plate of food to eat – and then progressed to discuss larger, greater needs, such as those of love and belongingness. The top of his pyramid is dubbed the self-actualization point of the pyramid, at which point the person working up the slope has all his or her needs met and is ready to be the best they can be.
Yeah, it’s no wonder they call Maslow’s terminology ambiguous.
But it’s those two sets of needs that I described – shelter/food, and belongingness/love – that are the hardest to achieve, sometimes. Luckily, we’ve been able to have the luxury of not worrying about shelter and food. There’s a house where we come home to everyday, where the roof doesn’t leak, where entertainment is abundant, where the beds are warm, where the couches are comfy, where the windows are open, where the lighting is right, where the food is good. We love our lives in this respect.
But then there’s belongingness and love. You know, there’s always those people that walk around with their boyfriend or girlfriend or bestie, or soul mate, or whatever and I’m like, where’s mine?
But you don’t really react that way. Because you’re an independent, confident soul that finds comfort in the lines of books, in the pixels of television, in the discussions of English class, in the community of your service (yes, the community of your service; it makes sense, trust me).
But it’s undeniable that you probably feel a little lacking, a little disappointed.
Or am I wrong? How do you feel about those kind of things, Jackie? I feel this way about them, and I like to think I know you well enough to think this and be correct. You always tell me about these things but then I see you walking around school doing your work and talking to a short little puppy and texting on a little red phone, and … I see such a sure fire personality.
You’re a mystery all of your own, and so is everyone else. And I can’t assume I know your thoughts – because when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.
But you know why you’re that way? Well, unless you’re hiding some magical potion that’s responsible for it, the reason why I see the confidence in your stride and the determination in your eyes is because you know that you have people by your side that love you just as much – more I’d say – than those companions walking down the hallway.
You come home to a loving family that enjoys being with you and caring for you as much as you enjoy being with them … well, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep down inside, you enjoy being with them, right?
Yeah, family’s always trouble. But they’re trouble that you and I would like to keep.
You come to school to people with open arms – don’t tell me it’s not true. There’s people willing to stare right into your eyes when they talk to you, willing to put up with your crap whenever you’re being cuckoo.
Your belongingness and love needs are met, I think – I hope – and that’s why I think you’re the way you are … I think. Right? I think so.
It sounds like I don’t know what I’m talking about! What is this?
But it’s only been to thank you for considering me as that person. What person? Hopefully the one that helps you meet your Maslow belongingness needs.