IS SELF ACTUALIZATION DEAD?
Facing the stark reality is an attribute which human beings generally tend to lack. Being evasive has slowly turned out to be a basic human trait. Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs, documented with clarity what the human beings cherish to achieve. This is self actualization, the highest of the human needs. Goldstein’s treats this as the organism’s master motive and also the only real motive: ”the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive… the drive of self-actualization.” Maslow is simple terms would be finding a meaning in life. This happens after we achieve the first four of the needs.
Whatever might be the reasons, the preceding needs of warmth & sense of belonging doesn’t seem have been fulfilled in the present day world. The intense connect with family & society seems to have gotten unstuck. The social media generation sense of belonging to the abstract has certainly confounded the problem. It reaches a stage where these don’t seem to be needs at all. Maslow would have been at his wits end had he been reborn in this generation.
For people who are lost in the third & fourth level needs is another story, those lucky who have been able to satisfy these needs have another story. Finding a meaning in life or for that matter moving with a purpose seems to have been lost in the present day consumerist world. Instant gratification is the name of the name & success & failure is being evaluated on those parameters. Who is interested in reaching his fullest potential? The dictum is that goals & lives have to match. Who wants to give back to the society & the system?
Maslow has a long list self-actualizing characteristics which is notable by its absence in the present generation. We end up being broken individuals. Can broken individuals add up into an integrated society, live, progressive & vibrant, moving with full pace towards societal fulfillment? The society is not in a position to give back what we keep expecting. We are in a catch 22 situation. Self actualization is the only way out.
SOCIETY SANS SELF ACTUALIZING INDIVIDUALS IS A DECADENT SOCIETY.