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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Don’t Lose Sight: A Focus on “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”

Dan Dodge

Over the summer, I reflected on the many changes and challenges that we have encountered as a nation, community, and as a family. We are focused on providing for our family, ensuring that our children are clothed, fed, and safe. Many of us ensure that other peoples’ children’s needs are met. We are parents, grandparents, foster parents, aunts, uncles, cousins taking care of the needs of people.

We work daily in one form or another to ensure that our family’s needs are met: working at our places of employment, serving as stay-at-home parents, attending classes to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. But have you thought about yourself lately? In our walk of life, in the hustle and bustle of trying to adhere to time constraints and requirements, turning in reports, being available to others…, have you thought about the fact that you are a human with human needs?

The first and second tiers of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs focus on our physiological and safety needs. This is what we focus on each day when we rush out of the door to work, drop the children off at daycare, babysitters, and school; making arrangements for a sick child, but still fulfill duties as the Physiological & Safety Needs Designee in the home. This is our focal point when we clock in at work, check those emails, answer voicemails, and greet those who work with and for us.

Our physiological and safety needs are what drives us. These two needs can keep us up at night-brainstorming about how we are going to fix this or that, how we are going to pay this or that, where we are going to get this or that to do this and that. Many thoughts race through our brains each day to ensure that these two needs are met. Why? Because we must have those needs met before we can graduate to the top of the needs chart. The higher up we go, the more it becomes about our needs in addition to the needs of others. Let’s face it – if these needs are not met, we find ourselves undergoing insurmountable stress. Therefore, not being productive to those who depend on us, need us, and love us.

In the third tier, Maslow discusses love and having a sense of belonging. Without this, it is nearly impossible to move toward self-actualization. This is why it is important to “not lose sight of you.” It is also important to remember “people.” At the end of the day, when you clock out, meet deadlines, and manage the hustle and bustle of life, get through the day; you are someone’s child, wife, husband, friend, mother, father, uncle, aunt, etc. You are not your degree. You are not your career. You are not whatever title you hold. You are you! “Do Not Lose Sight!”

Being recognized, supported, and respected makes the first three tiers worth the pushing! This is the level of esteem. Have we thought about this level and how the previous tiers contribute or support this tier? How often do you feel accomplished or appreciated? How often do we show appreciation to others? It is important not to lose “sight” of people. I have reflected on this- “losing sight of people means losing sight of yourself.”

At the end of the day, if you can look back to see what you have accomplished for yourself and others-equates to self-actualization. This is just my opinion and reflection. Having time to think about this invoked me to think about how all of this (Maslow’s) helps me help others as I help myself. It is a building block.

My philosophy is to treat people like I want to be treated. Treat students the way that I want my children treated. Lastly, not to lose sight of people and their needs, especially during these times.

Parents, my LMS family, and Community- “I see you. I have not lost sight. And I encourage you not to “lose sight” of how important you are to your family, community, and the world.

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