Thursday, January 25, 2007

Feelin' good?

In one of those moments of lucid awareness, apart from the daily 'work' process, I came to realize that people need to feel good.

Well d'uh, Papa?!?! You just beginning to figure that out?

Certainly that are the creature comfort feel-goods. Food, shelter, and clothing are essential. Then come the higher order feel-goods; spouse, family, friends and community. Personal self-worth and respect go a long way as comparison values to promoting feel-goods.

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

  • They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.
  • They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.
  • They are creative.
  • They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.
  • They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.
  • They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.
  • They judge others without prejudice, in a way that can be termed objective.

In short, self-actualization is reaching one's fullest potential.

Papa, that sounds pretty complete for an individual. So what is missing?

Maslow speaks of "...[embracing] the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them." This offers a clear clinical, intellectual view of the world but it leaves out one important element that I believe people 'need' in order to feel good.

Where is Hope in the value schedule cited above?

In one of those moments of lucid awareness, apart from the daily 'work' process, I came to realize that people need hope to feel good. People need to have a sense of value that extends beyond the "...facts and realities of the world..." A sense that something greater than ourselves will continue beyond the limits of our lives.

Were hope not present then I believe the suicide rate would be dramatically higher. This might well be the reason that according to the World Health Organization, "in the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide."

I suggest that as we, the world society, move into clinical and intellectual realms that have do not have facilities for accommodating hope we doom ourselves to greater and greater levels of dissatisfaction. When I am dissatisfied then most certainly I am not ... Feelin' good.

. . .