Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 21st, 2012

Do you smile at a hot loaf of bread offered to you? I’ll tell you what I smile at…

What is this Maslow’s Pyramid?  Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who identified in the 1940’s a simple and easily understandable set of human needs that motivate mankind.  The pyramid is a structured hierarchy of needs starts from basic needs for satisfying physiological needs such as eating, drinking, sleeping… and stepping up to satisfying feeling of security and order, then growing emotional needs to belonging socially (to love and be loved), achieving the yearning to be respected and recognized, and finally working toward self-fulfilment…

And many “professionals” in all kinds of social and psychological fields bought it and programmed us according to this “rational” concept, which lacks the necessary experimentation

There is a book by Paul W. King “Climbing Maslow’s Pyramid: Choosing your own path through life” who is regurgitating this pyramid concept of mankind priority needs and wants.   King starts his pyramid with confidence and self-esteem, the next step in the hierarchy is  sex, love, relationships, and followed by spirituality and meditation, upgrading to appreciation of beauty, form and balance, before reaching the urge for self-fulfilment, of whatever that mean…

If you were offered a hot loaf of bread, would you smile at the gesture?  I am confident if this bread (hot, cold, dry, or moulted…) is extended to a famished kid in Somalia, and the billion kids and adults living on less than one dollar a day, they will display a broad smile, and laugh their heart out for this opportunity to surviving the day…

If you are not in such a dire need for your daily intake of bread, corn flakes, rice… would you smile for a hot loaf, bowl of soup…?

How many kids recall eating, drinking, pissing, shitting, feeling that cold…? They don’t recall these basic needs.  Why?  They felt “secure” that the family, extended family, and restricted community will cover these basic needs.  The kids in a secured environment can recall how secured they felt that their basic wants and needs will be satisfied.

Even if you are in a boarding school and rarely see you parents, you still don’t recall eating, drinking… The institution was meant to satisfying the basic needs, but you may recall the instances you felt insecure and scared.

An orphan not cared for, kids displaced from their known communities, forcefully detached from their families…do recall these rare occasions when they were offered a hot loaf of bread, a candy, a bar of chocolate…and do recall the face of the benevolent “intruder” into their harsh life…

If you were offered a hot loaf of bread, would you smile at the gesture?  Maybe not.  If you were lost, you certainly will smile to a friendly face you come to cross.  If you were freezing outside, you will smile to someone who offers you a warm and clean bed.  If you had no bath for weeks, you will smile to the opportunity of dipping in a jacuzzi, having your cloth washed and dried…

First come security for survival: mainly, finding the group, the community ready to shelter your “insecurities” and all the other needs follows…

How can you acquire any self-confidence if the basic need for security is lacking?  Anyone who claims: “I made it all by myself, all by my self-effort and determination…” is a veteran liar.  Without your community, there is no chance you could have survived your first days, year first month, your first year…

What is this “self-fulfilment”? If you managed to accumulated enough money for your retirement period and can afford not to cater for your daily chores, because billion people are still slaving to maintain your comfort zone, what kinds of activities do you think may fulfil your various satisfaction?  Would you be able to survive a day without thinking of the multitude aching and laboring for your”self-fulfilment”?

Don’t you feel that tackling your daily chores like sweeping your home, doing your dishes, washing your cloths..,.when you can afford to pay someone else, are opportunities to enjoying what you were forced to do before “self-fulfilment”? Doing what the free starts doing when slaves should be doing… 

Do you believe that you are unable to appreciate beauty, forms…until all the other lower necessities are satisfied? Do you think mankind survive sequentially or because he can process many needs and wants in many parallel ways, and negotiate his survival at every single moment…?

I have two basic beefs with this kind of structure:

First, “rational” systems that are not fully substantiated are far more dangerous in consequences than systems based on hunches…

Second, this pyramid is not standing right and is wrong…

For example, Freedom is an abstract concept, until your phrase it into “How many choices are you willing to handle, and reflect upon the every aspect of daily living chores and future aspiration and passions…”  For example, if your passion is for a particular school teaching system, and the State government intentionally impose severe hurdles into instituting your teaching method, would you feel your freedom has been abridged? If the State facilitate the practice of your passion in your particular school system, would you demonstrate with others who have other passions that the same political system prohibit?

Note 1:  Paul W. King was born in India to British parents and is studying at the University of Alberta (Canada).  Paul is a professional photographer and a speaker and coaches in giving talks and presentations.

The “Mathew Effect”: The eligibility selection date.  Is it “the one who has gets more, and who has none shall be taken away…” system?

The selection process in many States for particular sport games and other disciplines are age-skewered.  For example, in Canada, the “eligibility” cut-off date for hockey is January 1st. Consequently, if you were born in January or February, you were lucky to have a full year advantage over the ones who were born in December or November:  You are one year bigger, stronger, more experienced, more mature, more trained than the remaining contenders.

The other advantage in “what month you were born” is that hockey fields are not available in every town and require special investment and maintenance, so that only the selected players will enjoy the opportunities of frequent training, scheduled games, constant monitoring… If you were born in December and were selected then, most probably you had something that the more fortunate players of a year older lacked in talent, skills, or negotiating intelligence…

In the US, baseball selection date is first of August.  The selected players for junior leagues who were born on August are double those born in July…In England, selection date for National Junior soccer teams is first of September.  Selected players born in September are double the number of those born in August.  In Czechoslovakia, selection date for soccer teams was January 1st, and you know by now how many talented generations were wasted who happened to be born in December.

The best and more talented players are not picked according to astrology: They were very lucky to be born at particular advantageous dates for specific sport games: A full year advantage, when every month count when you are 10 year-old! As you are selected, the player gets all the other advantages such as best coaches, better fields, scheduled training sessions, actual real games against opposing teams, grants…

More importantly, as you are selected, you have the greatest of opportunity of marking the 10,000 hours in practice sessions that are necessary to propel you as top in your field, such as sport, music, computer programming, singing, dancing, fashion designer, designer in any field….

This “Matthew Effect” is translated into a “self-fulfilling prophesy” where “You start with a false definition in the beginning that evokes new behaviors which make the original false concept true” (Robert Merton)

I have this hypothesis: The selected individuals who made it against the odds of date of birth will out-best the favored ones later on, simply because they had this “extra edge” in other characteristics. What could be the other factors? This question should be answered by further research, such as other types of intelligence, negotiating talents, fitting in, grabbing opportunities, more endurance, more persistence…

Note: Post inspired from a chapter in the “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell




January 2012

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