A Suggested Change to our Hierarchy of Needs.

I am going to go out on a limb here to see what the reaction is to my assertion that the hierarchy of needs described by Maslow is still relevant but with a few modifications.

Maslow suggests that at the bottom of the pyramid is our physiological needs - food, water, shelter, etc. This has not changed. What has changed in my humble opinion is that the lack of these things does not necessarily motivate people when they are unmet as Maslow suggested.

Additionally, money is now important if we are to meet our physiological needs. Why, because without money it is often hard to achieve our basic needs, particularly with housing. In my work within the customer service industry, the 'angriest' encounters are in those industries associated with money - banks, insurance, accountants, and the like.

The second of Maslow's hierarchy on the pyramid is safety. To a degree that level is also now in the bottom level, if we have the basics right we feel safer, more secure, and we are more stable.

It's the third layer on his pyramid that I am most interested in, our social needs. For me this is the missing link with a lot of issues that we have today, particularly around suicide. Through the introduction of technology, we have lost the art of socialisation, of community spirit, of assisting others, of building relationships and for expressing our feelings.

For thousands of years we talked with each other. We aired, shared, and cared with those around us. If we wanted to know something, we asked. If we wanted to talk with someone we had to do it face to face. If we needed help with anything we would invite people over to assist us.

Instead, what do we do today, we use a so called 'smart' phone to do all that we need in the way of communicating. Younger people have lost the art of socialisation, of talking to a person in front of them. The social skills of your turn my turn, politeness, facial expressions, and togetherness have all but disappeared.

Perhaps I am on the wrong track here. Perhaps there is another reason why the young people of today struggle with expressing their emotions and with communicating how they feel. These two things are important for wellbeing. Now they seem to have been lost, or at least given a lesser priority.

Perhaps I think like this because communication is my business. Or maybe I am just getting older and more cynical. One thing I do know, we need to talk more.