Abraham Maslow published a variety of papers and books in the mid 20th century that described his theories of human development and needs including A Theory of Human Motivation, and Motivation and Personality. Maslow is best known for the graphical representation of his theories in the form of his pyramid shaped Hierarchy of Needs. For all his success, I believe he missed out on a terrific opportunity to publish Maslow’s Guide to Relocating Your Family to Africa.
1. Physiological: hunger (mango and jack fruit trees on property at rental house), thirst (water dispenser recently purchased from departing expat), bodily comforts (bed, bookcase and all-important MTN wireless router purchased from departing tenant of rental house).
2. Safety: out of danger – signed tenancy agreement for rental house, purchased large, boxy Landcruiser with bushmaster front grill (see Flights, House, Car, and Nanny), absorbed a bevy of vaccinations (see The Unknown) and secured enough supplemental pharmaceuticals to compete with a local drug store.
3. Belongingness: affiliate with others (introduced to and met with a variety of expat aid workers, thanks Richard), be accepted (wrapping up final details of our volunteer agreements with Grameen)
4. Esteem: to achieve (engaging with Grameen in early morning calls and reviewing material at night and on weekends), be competent (trying to make heads or tails of the acronyms and development sector patois)
“If these Deficiency Needs are not met, the body gives no physical indication but the individual feels anxious and tense.”
While we are definitely still a little anxious and tense, I’m glad to see that we are checking a lot of boxes in Deficiency and are moving on to Growth Needs. There is a lot we still Need to Know and Understand and Asthetics Needs haven’t been touched but we are making progress.
I can only imagine what it will take to get to Self Actualization and Transcendence but I understand from recent conversations (thanks Sarah) that looking in the eyes of a silverback Mountain Gorilla in western Uganda goes a long way to such a state.