What do we need in life?

Feeling of floating in the current of life;
I tend to think we all live in our own little worlds where, for most things, not very much merges with those of others. “Mutual understanding” is merely a guise, as words carry meanings so fragile that they assume different shapes as they cross the boundaries of these worlds. It is rare that either party recognises the deformation of the meanings.

borrowed from the web**A friend of mine asked if I had read Erich Fromm. I never came across his work while I was cultivating in the field of sociology. He is regarded as one of the Frankfurt scholars, which I am not a follower of. 

What I found interesting, reading the descriptions given on the wikipedia, was his notion of the eight basic needs of a human being:
Relatedness (relationships with others, care, respect, knowledge); Transcendence (creativity, developing a loving and interesting life); Rootedness (feeling of belonging); Sense of Identity (seeing ourselves as a unique person and part of a social group); Frame of orientation (understanding the world and our place in it); Excitation and Stimulation (actively striving for a goal rather than simply responding); Unity (a sense of oneness between one person and the “natural and human world outside”); and Effectiveness (the need to feel accomplished.[5])

Suddenly, it descended on me like a ray of enlightenment. What an interesting list of ideas. Yes, I’d like all of these, please! If these were on a checklist, how many boxes will be ticked? … none of the boxes will be ticked, or at best, they seem very difficulut to be met. I certainly aspire to them, but the struggle entailed in trying to attain them fully seem, proportionately, enormous.

I am struggling, assuming, like many others, to establish myself as a unique individual rooted in society, recognised for my connections, knowledge, skills, and creative work, building up a loving relationship, secure with the sense of origin with an admirable family, with a clear mind to understand the world, and having a goal clearly aimed to and well within reach, enjoying the organic and harmonious relationships with others on the way, to have something accomplished before the end of my life.

There. A picture of a truly happy man.


About Dr Kats

a working sociologist/linguist/translator based in Kobe, Japan
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