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Egypt: Of Snake and The Man



Revolution and Self-actualization

By: Hesham Abu Mariah

In my junior year of high school I used to go play with a very cute, little, green garden snake who lived in a glass container inside our school laboratory. I believed we were best of friends. He would let me pet him while just laying there happy and content. He was my buddy!

One day I thought I should let him out and play with him outside the container, and I did! He slithered away on the floor for a bit. But when I thought it was time to take him back to the container, to my astonishment, he bit me!

Bewildered and surprised, I chased him around till I caught him and put him back, and then as I was walking away from the lab I thought, “He probably never ‘felt’ the ‘outside’ before! He grew in a container being fed, feeling secure, and content. He had no reason to bite before! But then again, although he loved the taste of food and security in his comfort zone, he had never tasted…Freedom”

D and B Needs

Studying Self-actualizing people, Abraham Maslow observed that humans operate on two levels of needs; Deficiency Needs,  like need for food, water, air, sex, security, self esteem etc., and Being Needs – Self-Actualization – the need of becoming “unleashed” from all limits and reaching one’s highest potential.

While D Needs rest when satisfied, B Needs only yearn for more the more they are satisfied.

About D Needs, Michael Hall says in his book, Unleashed:

“When you are dissatisfied and deficient (hungry, thirsty, insecure, etc.), a motivation arises within to satisfy what you lack. Your needs create a driving urge and an inner demand, and when they are satisfied, they disappear. You forget them. You even forget how driving they were, you experience ‘post-gratification forgetting’ ” ~ Unleashed, Page 110

About B Needs, Dr. Hall says:

“Above your deficiency needs you have a whole set of a very different kind of needs, the growth and expressive needs – self-actualization needs. Maslow called his work “a theory for meta-motivation.” These are the higher needs for beauty, truth, honor, “justice”, meaning, contribution, responsibility, meaningful work, creativity, being fair and just, excellence, simplicity, honesty, kindness, courage, etc. These kinds of “needs,” created through learning, understanding, consciousness, choice, freedom, are of a different nature. Similar to our lower needs, lack activates them and initiates your motivational drives. Yet unlike the lower needs, satisfaction of the need does not extinguish it. In fact, the opposite occurs. With the growth needs, the more you get, the more you want.” ~ Unleashed, Page 113

“When you observe a person discovering one of these higher B-values, typically you see someone discovering and actualizing what the person considers his or her “purpose of life.” When that happens, watch out! Get ready to see a human being come alive.” ~ Unleashed, Page 116

Of Snake and Man

I was reminded by my snake experience as I pondered upon the protestors in the same time I was reading, Unleashed! Like the snake, they have grown in the comfort zone of food and security, tamed to remain within the boundaries of their safe haven, until this day when they tasted this cry for freedom, and behold! The taste of “being” and “becoming” was inexplicable. it overpowered defeciency needs, and prevailed.

But now they also have to make sure that their defeicency needs are satisfied too, or else no more life will be left for self-actualization

I’m not with or against at this point as I write! Just simply observing and trying to understand the joy that I’ve seen today in Tahreer Square (Liberation Square in English), accompanied by hunger, thirst, and harsh conditions.

Beautifully amazing! I suppose, is a human-being and a human-becoming…

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