Caravanning: Who is on your journey with you?
“Maslow saw a hierarchy.” This was the quote in my college marketing book - my introduction to Maslow’s hierarchy. It was his “greatest hits.” But Maslow relented, repudiated, and repented his hierarchy in later life. His original theory said that when humans filled their deficit needs - food, clothing, shelter, safety, and belonging, or achieved the basic security that they lacked, they were able to turn their attention to self-actualization. Self-actualization meant becoming everything one is capable of becoming. The foundation of his thinking was that every human being had inherent value and worth. In later life, Maslow repudiated his hierarchy with respect to its summit. Self-actualization was too limiting and too selfish. A higher form was self-transcendence, wherein one realized that a higher state of being was fully giving oneself to something beyond oneself. Maslow regretted not giving more place in his theory to community and spirituality. In later life, Maslow, an eminent Psychologist, did not champion his popular theory, it championed him. In the same way, we are becoming the champions of individualism and loneliness. The Surgeon General of the United States considers loneliness to be the biggest health problem in that country.
The question we are considering is about “caravanning”? Who is on your journey with you? Look around and see who is travelling with you, alone together. Is it family, friends, or strangers? Are you even aware of others who stand and walk with you? Conversely, who are you no longer travelling with? Who are you missing? Do you ever take a moment to stop, look around, and greet the others in your caravan? The solitary nomad benefits from a collective.