Forget culture, ethnicity, geography. What do we want? At our fundamental root, what do we want? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Basics: food, water, air to breathe
Safety: a roof over our heads, a job to earn enough money to put a roof over our heads and food on our plates, health to enjoy it
Love and belonging: family, friends, someone to care for, someone to care for us
Value: respect, a place in a group, recognition for what we do well
Self-actualization: becoming the best we can be
So what goes wrong? Urges, powerful urges.
If you look at a hierarchy model, “reproduction” is considered a “basic” but love is part of “love and belonging.” Not in the same place. So what happens when the urge for sex is conflated with the desire for love? Or sex becomes a tool of the powerful?
If safety calls for employment to enable basic needs and shelter and the unemployment rate skyrockets to an unsustainable level, what do people do? In 2017, Burkina Faso’s unemployment rate was 77%, Syria’s was 50%, Senegal’s was 48%, and Haiti’s was 40.6%. What do desperate people do?
If people are isolated, as we have been in the last year and a half, if their families have broken down, if they don’t have a family or friends, what do people do? The loners, the isolated? The ones seeking attention? Someone, something?
From despair to desperation, we want the same thing. A place in the world. We watch people take huge risks–walking the 2,000-3,000 mile long Migrant Trail, crossing the Mediterranean in rafts–just to find a place in the world. So often, the trail is marked with loss. Loss of life, loss of resources. So often, the end point isn’t what the people sought. Refugee camps. Danger. Crime.
Yet, so often, we’re powerless to help. The simplest wants–food, shelter–and we don’t know how to help each other. Why?