I remember learning about basic human needs in a Sociology class in, was it high school? University maybe? Not College, that was for my job training as a Computer programmer. Wherever I first learned this concept of needs, today, with the state of the world and myself in virus lockdown, I’ve been giving it thought again, and looked it up: it was “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”. What I recall from the list : (If you know me at all, you know I like lists!)
Basic needs: Food, Clothing, Shelter – these form the foundation of the list. Then come important things like Safety and Belonging. I know the top of the needs “pyramid” (by which the needs were expressed) was an ethereal concept called “Self-actualization” which, after all the other needs were met, was supposedly one’s life goal – to “self-actualize”, whatever that meant.
I’ve had a lucky life. I’ve always had basic needs met. I live in Canada, a safe country, and I self-identify with groups where I feel I “belong” – my military family community comes to mind, and I also have been a “belonger” in my small group of family, friends, sports, even work before retirement. And now, in retirement as a published author of 2 books (here’s the shameless link to check them out : Books), I think I finally understand the “self-actualization”. It was certainly a state of being that solidified by becoming a grandmother in 2019. I admit it – at 60+ years old, I’ve self-actualized.
Then along came this virus. COVID 19. Responsible citizens like my husband and I have been staying at home, as directed. We don’t go out except for a daily walk, physically distancing from the others out doing the same. I walk to the local grocery store and stand carefully back in lineups, and wash and wipe and disinfect upon return to my own abode. We might go for a short drive to watch the spring breakup on the river (and can’t believe how little gas the car needs now that prices are so low!) We’ve ordered pizza for supper once, and Chinese food another time. We have our own stash of wine. Our retiree lifestyle has of course been affected – my book release is delayed, my curling club is closed, my travel plans are on hold – but here’s the kicker : We are not adversely affected financially by the degrading state of the economy. Sure, my stock market savings are down – same boat as everyone there. But immediate funds and pensions are not affected.
So here’s my two cent opinion about the government handouts going on in my country (and others) right now : YES, they’ve got it right. Give to the young, working people and businesses. They’re the ones who need bailouts. I don’t need anything. I’ve heard some in my age bracket complain that the government is giving nothing extra due to COVID 19 to retirees – I say GOOD. If you need help, you probably needed it before this virus, and then of course, my sympathies. But this virus state of affairs won’t last forever. For now, stay home, and when it’s all over, I hope and expect the economy and the working folk will pick up and get our lucky, self-actualized society back on its feet. See you there and then!