It’s New Year’s resolutions time, so over the past couple of days I’ve been thinking what do I need right now? What does the world need right now?
Sorry Jackie DeShannon, it’s not love sweet love. Love is a beautiful thing of course, but love doesn’t heal pain. And what we have right now feels like a world in pain.
A fundamental truth of human existence is that hurt people hurt people. Said another way, misery loves company. When we’re hurting we want other people to hurt so that we feel less alone in our pain, or even better about our pain if others have it worse. It’s why bad news sells more newspapers than good news. It’s why drivers slow down to look at an accident on the highway.
So how do we get rid of the pain in the world?
A clue lies in Chilean economist & behavioural scientist Manfred Max Neef’s Human Scale Development Model. Manfred took Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs one step further (he just didn’t have as good of a marketing machine behind him!). He looked at what human beings need from the perspective of the individual and the collective - what we need to thrive as individuals and what we need to thrive as a community. The result of his research can be summed up as #FICLBUASS representing each of the 9 universal human needs. The more we are aware of the 9 needs - which of them are being well met for each of us individually as well as collectively, and even more importantly, which of them are not being well met - and the more we orientate ourselves and our lives towards meeting our unmet needs, the more fulfilling our lives will become. The less pain we’ll feel and want to see.
So this year, I am setting an intention. I’m looking inside myself for what needs are not being met for me and wishing the same for the world. The more we can build a needs-based culture, the more we can become aware of what pains us the more we can lessen the pain. Hurt people hurt people, yes. Healed people heal people too. #FICLBUASS. Happy new year to all.
Curious about the 9 fundamental human needs? Explore here.