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Desperately Seeking

by Marie Vonow (follow)
Life (62)      Relationships (29)      Needs (4)     

Chalkboard sign
Image:Marie Vonow

A few weeks back, at that start of spring I saw this sign outside a shop. It made me think about how lovely a 'typical' spring day can be. Then my thoughts turned to things people may be 'desperately seeking'.

The Macmillan English Dictionary gives three definitions for the word desperately-
in a very worried or angry way
very much
I interpret desperately, as used on this chalk board sign to mean 'very much'.

What sorts of things do people find themselves 'desperately seeking'? It depends on an individual's situation and their personality but the things will probably relate to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (Maslow's theory has been criticised by some but I think it provides a useful framework for considering things people may be desperately seeking.)

For some people, things they 'desperately seek' will relate to basic needs such as food, water, warmth and rest. A homeless person is likely to desperately seek these things.

Some people who have these most basic needs taken care of will desperately seek safety and security in regard to their personal being, accommodation and community.

There will be those who desperately seek employment to cover the costs of basic living or provide financial security. Health will be a major concern for others. They may try all manner of programs and consult unorthodox practitioners in a desperate search for a cure for a health problem.

People need to feel they belong and are loved. These needs can be met by family, friends and intimate relationships. Some people are very lonely and are desperately seeking friends.

Others are searching for a partner, someone they hope will 'complete' them because they feel incomplete on their own. They are frightened of being alone. Perhaps they have a sense of failure at being 'alone'.

There are people who are happy to spend a considerable amount of time in their own company or with people who do not fall into the 'intimate relationship' category. They may be open to the idea of being in a relationship but it is not a situation they are desperately seeking.

Moving up Maslow's hierarchy of needs we come to the need for esteem and a feeling of respecting ourselves and being respected by others. Some crave recognition of their talents, beauty or accomplishments to an extent that is desperate.

There are people who feel a need to have possessions such as a very impressive house, prestigious car and all manner of materialistic items to prove themselves successful to others. They buy things to impress others rather than to make their life comfortable. They are desperately seeking the esteem, and perhaps envy, of others.

At the top of Maslow's hierarchy is self actualisation and a desire to live to one's full potential. This may include a desire to express oneself creatively. Fulfilling this need often involves doing things to be of service to others or to share things that are aesthetically pleasing. I don't think this level of need is something people desperately seek but it's more where passions may be expressed. A person may put much effort into activities around the goal of self actualisation, but more because they are passionate rather than desperately seeking it.

Some people are content with the situation they are in. They may make a few changes now and then and are open to new ideas and different ways of doing things. However, they don't have a need to desperately seek.

# Life
# Needs
# Relationships
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