Universal Needs

The past few days, I’ve been fixated on what all of us human beings have in common. I guess a lot of this has been because I’ve been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book on the Congo, The Poisonwood Bible, for the neighborhood book club. I’ve also been learning about life in the 1930s for members of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico in the book, Spider Woman, by Gladys A. Reichard (it’s a memoir that just got reprinted). On top of that, the PBS television show Finding Your Roots has focused on family life of slaves in the US, families dealing with wars in Asia, and other times of difficulty and stress for people. I have learned a lot from the photos and documents they show.

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Here are two minor helpers for keeping me well: yet another reblooming orchid, and my sign remniding me to breathe.

I keep seeing families and communities that manage to do well, in spite of the many challenges life throws at them, and also how they sometimes break down. I kept wondering, what do all of us need to have a “good” life?

For my real estate blog, I wrote up some of my thoughts as they relate to what we do to create homes for people, not just houses. I came up with what, to me, are the minimum requirements for a good life.

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These are my stab at a list of basic needs. It may not cover everything.

Just having food and a roof over your head is not enough, to me. You need a community around you, so that you can give and receive love and friendship. You need to feel like you have a purpose in life, which is what I mean by fulfilling work. I don’t even know that pay is important, if you can meet your needs otherwise, but life is pretty hollow without the ability to do something that makes you feel like a part of the big picture.

And freedom from fear is the clencher for me. So many people live where they feel unsafe. You can’t be happy if you are worried about war, physical/mental cruelty, prejudices, or environnmental dangers. Every human deserves to feel safe.

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We have our loving community, a home, food, and the meaningful work of being companions for our mommies. So, we are happy, say Pickle and Vlassic.

I’ve seen (and read about in my books) many people who don’t have much by way of possessions, money, or property, but they are happy because they life surrouded by a safe communty, have enough to eat, and are contributing to the greater good. That’s all I really want, too.

What other things would you add to a list of basic needs for a happy life? I’d be interested. Certainly there are a LOT more things that would add to happiness, like health care, education…and?

 

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

One thought on “Universal Needs”

  1. I need people and animals to take care of. I can’t feel useful unless someone depends on me to feed them, and to keep them safe and happy. I also NEED!! creative outlets. If I find I have no interest in creating, I know that the Dementor of chronic depression has me by the throat, and it’s time to address the problem. Creating, whether I’m in the mood or not, helps exorcize the demons.

    Liked by 1 person

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