Hierarchy of Needs

Recently I have been doing a look of reading and the interesting aspect of it has been a. Lot of information that pertains directly to either the current state of myself or of the world. One of those things which I was only recently introduced to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which was original proposed in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.”

In it he proposes that as each of the five needs are met (Physiological, Safety, Social Belonging, Esteem, Self-actualization) a person can move on to the next need. For the purpose of this discuss I am only going to talk about the first three and how it pertains to our current environment of sheltering-in-place.

Physiological we’ll define as food, water, shelter. When COVID-19 was announced and the though of being quarantined was proposed this is where everyone went first. They bought toilet paper. They bought canned food. They stocked up (hoarded) for fear of not having the basic things they needed. Once that was taken care of they could move on to the next need.

Safety we’ll define as health, personal security. Once we had a sufficient surplus of toilet paper and flour for baking then we moved on to worrying about our own health. This is when we went on a mad spree to find gloves and masks. We even learned how to make our own masks. Once we were convinced that we were safe from this virus then some of us were able to move on to the next need.

Social Belonging we’ll define as frienship, family, intimacy. I think there are a lot of people here now. They feel safe and taken care of and now they need that social interaction that staying at home cannot provide. This is why there are protests all over the country with chants of re-opening up the economy.

Unfortunately we are seeing hot-spots flare up in areas that didn’t have stay-at-home orders in place which means we’re really not safe yet. We are at that tipping point which makes this a dangerous time. As much as I love cooking I do enjoy a nice meal out at one of my favorite restaurants and I know I’ll get there at some point but now is not the time.

I’m not saying I have any good answers because I’m not a medical person or have a background in pandemics. I did really find this concept of a hierarchy of needs interesting though in watching human behavior during al of this.

About Sean White

A self-made minus-millionaire.
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