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Maslow's Hierarchy Tested In Real Time

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Are you feeling off? You may be healthy, and your basic needs of food, water and shelter may be met, but you’re still not feeling OK. You may even be working from home or at the office, but things are still off, and some days you can’t find your bearing.

We are all feeling a little "off" center right now. First the virus, then isolation, job insecurity, and now the murder of George Floyd, which has yet again uncovered racial disparities and tensions. I wrote this prior to Mr. Floyd's death and the protests, but it's still relevant - our sense of security and well-being is under attack. No wonder we're feeling "off."

If we review Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I think you see what I see. There are five levels, usually displayed in a pyramid format, which depicts "fulfilling innate human needs in priority." The bottom is physiological (food, shelter, water). Next is safety (health, safety). Next is love and belonging (social relationships with others). The fourth is esteem, and the top point is self-actualization. I will focus on Abraham Maslow's bottom three needs in context with the current climate.