Sunday, April 15, 2007

Maslow's Theory of Human Motivation

Last Saturday's "BagFest Event" was an excellent opportunity to bring awareness on how our behavior can have a negative effect on the environment that affords us life. Living in a society in which personal success is often measured in terms of material possessions; by default, our priorities also shift in that direction as well. If you consider Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" proposed in his (1943) paper, "A Theory of Human Motivation", one might argue that many of us fail to reach 'Self-Actualization' because we are never fully satisfied with the previous level of 'esteem'. When our quest for esteem (self-importance, fame, fortune, respect, acceptance from others, etc) becomes imbalanced, we experience a warped-sense of who we are, virtually finding ourselves caught in an endless void we ourselves have created. This shift in priority comes at a price; be it our family, individual sense of self-worth, or the depletion of our environment and natural resources.

We all have something to gain from public awareness events, such as Earth Day and BagFest and if I had to select one 'take-home-point' for myself it would be to change personal behavior and habits that promote reducing the use of natural resources. Recycling is a tremendously important component in promoting positive change, however, it is not the solution. Solutions involve identifying the source of the problem and incorporating ways to eliminate the problem (in this case, reduce the use of natural resources and find ways to replenish the ones that we can(e.g. planting trees, etc).

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