A Richer Understanding: Hierarchy of Needs

The energy surrounding our current political process, current election cycle & the remaining candidates for president of these United States provide many opportunities for discussion. Aside from belief, political affiliation or lack thereof, our blood runs a shared red.

You would be hard pressed to change anyone’s point of view, but if you listen close to the subtext most of us desire the same experiences for our lives. We need love, to be seen, heard and understood; (my) simpler version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Across all of my relationship sectors; social-media, work, friendship and family – extended to spaces; work, the gym, the coffee shop, the grocery store and in my social media streams, the subtext revolves around a hierarchy of needs. They all point (directly or indirectly) to receiving an adequate, livable and respectable wage.

Poverty - Living Wage

Our wages not only pay the bills, they are significantly tied to our unique place in the world. We all share an expanded hierarchy of needs; however, we might differ ideologically on how to achieve them.

Goebel’s Observation On Utopia: If everyone believed in peace, they would immediately begin fighting over the best way to achieve it.

Fighting is one of the least effective ways of changing someone’s mind. I’ve witnessed (and participated) in a few exchanges without leading to polemics.

Agree to disagree.

There is one thing we can agree on while looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is amazingly clear how they are directly tied to current issues.

Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter …

Healthcare, infrastructure, farming, farm subsidies.

Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability …

Global warming, gun control, immigration, terrorism, policing, border security, armed forces levels.

Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love …

Right to choose, gender equality, same-sex marriage.

Esteem needs – self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige …

Minimum wage, equal pay, women in combat, gender workplace diversity.

Cognitive needs – knowledge, meaning, etc.

Education; early childhood, affordable (or free) college.

Having an adequate, livable and respectable wage enables us to get ahead, also makes us more human and in turn makes the world more just.


Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.

1 Comment

  1. An excellent primer or a more in-depth look into the fundamentals of this important, relative yet often overlooked concept of life.

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