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I just watched the Wiki video a couple of hours ago. I must say, the man with the accent brings up an interesting point. "Poverty is lack of friendship." If you're not familiar with him, Abraham Maslow was a psychologist in the 20th century who is famous for his Hierarchy of Needs. 

[http://www.legalcybertips.com/images/Constitutional-Rights-And-Maslows-Hierarchy-Of-Needs.jpg
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In a sense, the Hierarchy of Needs is what we've addressed in class. But It's fascinating that the middle one is the Need of Belong. Belonging is such an interesting concept. Always has been, always will be. You watch cartoons about the nerdy kids in school and how they try to belong with the popular kids. Eventually, what they find at the end of the episode is that they don't need to be "cool." Rather they need to be an individual. But how can you be an individual if you never belonged in the first place? And the answer is this: you can't.

Isn't it interesting. We live in a world of wireless internet, Instant Messaging, and iPhones. Human connection now comes at the touch of a button, yet more people than ever before are claiming to be lonely and depressed. Or at least, this is why people in the affluent %20 of the world's population are depressed. The poor are depressed because they lack security, food, and shelter. But it makes for an interesting comparison. Great suffering creates great bonds. The people of Haiti are dying together, but here in the U.S., we seem to be dying alone.

Makes you wonder why we can't just come together to fill each other with our needs.

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4 Comments

  1. Unknown User (cpate)

    So true.

    Makes me think of Into the Wild when he finally escapes all interaction only to die alone and conclude that "Happiness is real when shared."  We need each other and I have to agree with "the man with the accent" that it is this lack of friendship that separates living to survive and actually flourishing in life.

  2. Unknown User (slintner)

    I agree that the one of the principle effects of poverty is the starvation of friendship and relationships, but would have to disagree with your point that you can't be an individual if you never belonged in the first place. I would argue that individualism has nothing to do with belonging to the rest of the group. Now, i think you can only be considered an individual in the respect that it must be in terms of what we have already defined as community or individual, but the essence of being an individual reaches beyond that to say that we have our own priorities, our own principles, our own values. Being an individual is just about being yourself.

    In the context of poverty, individualism seems more diluted. We see some of the strongest communities in poor areas and the strongest friendships because people are truthfully relying on their friends and family to survive the weeks. Just because poor people cannot sustain a lot of their finances and food supply without the help of others doesn't mean that they are less of an individual. It means that they have found a community that supports their individuality and thrives, not in wealth or materialism, but in love and friendship. Not disagreeing with you, just embellishing. 

  3. Unknown User (slintner)

    I agree that the one of the principle effects of poverty is the starvation of friendship and relationships, but would have to disagree with your point that you can't be an individual if you never belonged in the first place. I would argue that individualism has nothing to do with belonging to the rest of the group. Now, i think you can only be considered an individual in the respect that it must be in terms of what we have already defined as community or individual, but the essence of being an individual reaches beyond that to say that we have our own priorities, our own principles, our own values. Being an individual is just about being yourself.

    In the context of poverty, individualism seems more diluted. We see some of the strongest communities in poor areas and the strongest friendships because people are truthfully relying on their friends and family to survive the weeks. Just because poor people cannot sustain a lot of their finances and food supply without the help of others doesn't mean that they are less of an individual. It means that they have found a community that supports their individuality and thrives, not in wealth or materialism, but in love and friendship. Not disagreeing with you, just embellishing. 

  4. Unknown User (mhull1473)

    In this capitalistic culture of ours, we have largely been deceived into believing that 'things' can bring us contentment or satisfaction. Relationships are hard and people are easily able to hurt one another, but 'things' are reliable: you can find satisfaction (if only momentary) from owning something, and if it lets you down or is not sufficient for your needs, you can just buy more and better things. People can make you feel like you do not belong, but 'things' do not require anything more of you than maybe a battery or gasoline. However, escaping rejection is not the same as finding belonging; and possessing 'things' will not ultimately satisfy one's needs and oftentimes one just ends up trying to buy more things. The affluent may be able to forever keep buying new things in an attempt to fill the void in their lives, but the poor do not have that option. The poor take the risk of relying on others for fulfillment because they have do not have the option of the rich and many times their need is much more dire. But isn't it great, because ultimately it is relationships that fill one's sense of belonging and not possessions. Being poor, they may not have all the opportunities of the rich to try out multiple avenues to find fulfillment, but in the end it is oftentimes these close knit communities of the impoverished who truly find themselves rich when their need of belonging is met and satisfied.