How To Understand A Human Being | Sustainable Human

“We believe that all human behavior is a (conscious or subconscious) attempt to meet a need or a reaction to a need not being met. And that if you want to understand and change human behavior, you have to first understand our common needs.” – Chris and Dawn Agnos

I am a human being.
I have needs.
I have a need for healthy food.
I have a need for clean water.
I have a need for shelter.
I have a need to feel safe and secure.
I have a need to feel included.
I have a need to feel useful and needed.
I have a need to love and feel loved.
I have a need to be validated and heard.
I have a need to be acknowledged for my gifts.
I have a need to feel like I belong.
When my needs are not met, I am more likely
to be fearful,
to be selfish,
to be reactionary,
to take more than I need,
to be irrational,
to be angry,
to be violent,
to hoard,
to be individually focused,
to engage in risky behaviors,
to commit crimes
I will be unable to empathize and care for the needs of others.
However, if my needs are met, I am more likely
to be generous,
to be grateful,
to be inspired,
to be insightful,
to feel alive,
to be helpful,
to be community-minded,
to have self-love and respect,
to want to give,
to be grateful to receive,
to have wisdom.
I will be able to empathize and care for the needs of others.
I am a human being
and this is how I can be understood.

One thought on “How To Understand A Human Being | Sustainable Human

  1. I agree with the statements here, but the unstated message seems to present the problems of people who have been done wrong as solvable by other people, and I’m wondering who those potentially helpful people supposedly are. When my daughter is frustrated with someone, I ask her to think back to their parents or someone else who might have contributed to a bad situation they might be reacting to. Then those parents might have faced their own challenges. They might have done the best they knew how but still caused harm. All of us could have done better; none of us is without some situation or some person who caused us harm. If we can’t change the past, does it even help to figure out who is most to blame? The more pressing question is: Who is going to take responsibility to not keep perpetuating harm? All of us? That’s unlikely. A caring few? It doesn’t seem there are enough of us to make it better for all those human beings who are “fearful, selfish, reactionary…” even if we didn’t have ourselves and our own people to look after and were able to devote our lives to that effort. None of us gets all our needs met. It’s still up to each of us to decide if we’re going to be our better self or worse self, no matter what we’ve gone thru. Many people seem more interested in blaming than making the best of their situation, and that doesn’t give me hope that things are going to get much better for society as a whole. I believe those of us who want to take responsibility can find each other. I believe we’re going to need small groups that are willing to focus on what we can do to prepare for challenges, how we can pool our resources such as sharing knowledge and tools, to be stronger together. That would be great if someone could convince the bulk of society to quit fighting and blaming, and start doing something useful, but it’s not likely to happen. We can increase our own resilience, even if what we do goes mostly unnoticed. Then if we start to see hardship around us, we can be an example to others. We can teach them what our own experience taught us, if they’re interested.

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