Good Morning from India, to all my readers. If you have been following my blogs, you would know that in this journey I am trying to discuss various ways of reaching within our personality and try and understand ourself. I began with a small introduction followed by do we understand self. Then I explained how we have a tendency to react to happenings in our life and if we just take a pause before reacting and reflect upon the issue maybe our reaction would be different and could help us save a few relations. In the last chapter, I had discussed about time management and tried to give a theory of managing ME time better.
Well today I would like to introduce an understanding of the social needs of us humans. Before I get into explaining the social needs I wish to give a brief insight into the famous theory of needs-THE MASLOWS LAW OF HIERARCHICAL NEEDS.
As per Maslow’s law, the primary needs of humans are the Physiological needs of food, water, warmth and rest. These are followed by safety needs of security and safety of self and family. Then comes the needs of Belongingness and love needs which are intimate relationships friends etc. This is followed by esteem needs of sense of achievement, pride etc. Finally, at the top of the pyramid are the self-actualization needs which are to give a sense of fulfillment. The theory proposed that every human has all these needs in the order of hierarchy starting from the bottom of the pyramid moving upwards upon fulfillment of each of these needs. Like when we were in school we passed each class and never looked back. Similarly once the bottom most need is fulfilled, we move up the pyramid.(For detailed understanding of the needs refer to Maslow’s Laws of Hierarchy).
Let’s explore a bit deeper to identify the evolution of this need. Man is a social animal and when man used to stay in the jungle/ caves, mankind realized that in order to protect ourselves from external elements like wild animals or calamities it was necessary to herd together like all other species of animals in the jungle. Even wild animals normally live in herds and bigger the herd the more secure they feel. Over time from savages, as we developed into more evolved and superior creatures, than the others in the food chain we started moving all over the globe and like-minded individuals started flocking together. Thus came the concept of families and blood relations like brothers and sisters and cousins, social restrictions and boundaries etc. Those days it was believed that one should have large families to survive. The larger the family the greater was the safety and security for the families. Many such family units with like-minded people formed a village leading to creation of districts, followed by cities, states, countries etc. This is just basic knowledge but why am I discussing such basic stuff. Because I want to highlight the underlying emotion which created such units. It was the feeling of belonging, possessiveness, the desire to have ownership, pride and say “MY FAMILY”, “MY VILLAGE”, “MY CITY”, “MY COUNTRY” and so on and so forth. While on one hand this possessiveness brought the feeling of safety and security to humans it also brought in bigger devils like jealousy, power, might, division ,the will to snatch using coercive approach etc. which led to fights and wars. It is this possessiveness, misunderstandings and various ego states that have led to fall of seemingly perfect relationships.
Once the two basic needs, viz. Physiological and safety, are achieved the psychological needs become important and those we shall delve deeper and those can be better explained as Social needs or the need to socialize with like-minded people and the society at large. Here we shall be discussing Understanding Social needs of humans as these are the needs which are psychological in nature and have to be addressed. Looking beyond it may be seen that the maximum turmoil in a human life is in this zone. Once the social needs are achieved the man moves towards self-actualization or fulfillment needs. On achieving this stage of life a person becomes more and more at peace within himself. But this is also actually the stage of life in which a man or a woman has social needs or desires and where a man or a woman is the most dissatisfied, leading him/her to move on a journey, which is actually, a never ending search of the unknown. We call it by different names like search for a perfect partner, perfect relationship, soul mate, BFF-best friend for ever and many other synonyms. Whichever name we call it, the search continues. While the truth is that the world is searching happiness in friends and relations whereas the actual happiness lies within the human being himself. If only they search inside themselves, they will find the path leading them to inner peace.
In the olden day’s wars were fought by men for control on women, land, cattle and possessions. Even today it is not much different. Each day when we open the newspaper, we are hounded by all crime news of murders due to failure of relationships, rapes, thefts, robberies, mini wars between nations. A question that comes to one’s mind is are we really civilized as a race? Why do we keep fighting, killing, robbing and hankering for power in a world in which we are all temporary? When Alexander – The great conqueror died he was buried with his hands outside and pointing upwards, signifying that while on earth he possessed everything but at the end his hands were empty. Wouldn’t the world be a beautiful place if we could get rid of such undesirable passions and desires and take everyone in our stride? In a world which is marred with inequality and a fake sense of superiority of the have’s over the have not’s, why can’t we treat all fellow beings as equals irrespective if caste, creed, colour or sex? Then why does this disparity amongst the so called equals exist? Why is there such a deep desire in people to hurt others’ feelings?
It would not be wrong to say that men and women think differently. Further no two men or two women think similarly either, thereby making this process of thinking, a very complex one, which eventually is solely leading to complications in relationships. Basically the human desire is to be with one another and when in isolation we are very unhappy. Some relations are created by birth like connect with parents, brothers and sisters and we do not get to choose such relations while other relations we create in this world to ensure that we are happy.
But are we all happy? Are we satisfied with what we have? Then why is the whole world running around trying to make newer friends, partners, relationships, connections etc.? Aren’t we all lonely deep down within? Aren’t we all searching for a solution to such an emptiness? This is where the social needs become all-encompassing and engulf us all in a whirlpool of emotions that keep churning us in a never ending spiral, and sucking us within like a black hole, out of which very few human beings are able to come out and those are the ones who reach out to fulfill the last need i.e. self-actualization. We call such people as saints, preachers, God-men, Holy men who have been able to curb their desires and found inner peace. But is it that only people who relinquish everything get inner peace? I feel that the answer to that is NO. We are all entitled to the same peace which such people achieve if we are able to curb our negative desires the desire to hurt for personal gain.
I leave this chapter with a lot of questions which I will leave as food for thought for every-one who is reading this and also try to answer some in my next chapters to follow. The thought for the day would be “Let us all live peacefully so as to ensure that we can create a smile on each person we connect with. “ If we can follow a simple rule and create smiles the world would be a happier place for all.
Thank you and Have a wonderful life.