Finding symmetries in an unsymmetrical world ..

How Aam is Aam Aadmi ? Moving beyond Roti Kapra aur Makan ..

Posted on: February 5, 2009

How Aam is Aam Aadmi aka how common is the common man?

The other day at Triibes, I hit a discussion with Becky Blanton, about helping the homeless. And as with every body, not for once did she mention, “The homeless need us, hand out more blankets”.   

  That was something that ignited my think tank !  

 Why is it that we deter from looking past the basic physiological needs of food and shelter?     


As you see in the hierarchal pyramid in the image below, love, belonging, esteem and self actualization comes up much later.

   Maslow's Hierarchy

Maslow’s Hierarchy

But what Maslow conceived is often misconstrued.We tend to believe that what a common man needs is all about the basic food and shelter needs.

In his thesis, Maslow quotes,”It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?  

At once other (and ‘higher’) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still ‘higher’) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency. ”   


This is to say the emergence of more important social goals and a shift in focus away from physiological needs.      

Alas, the story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.

We tend to overshadow what’s still ahead of us, and bask in the sunshine of our previous successful gigs.

Come’on, the best is still ahead of you, and that’s why , you are not a dog, or a rat. YOU are a human being! And you are blessed, just that you do not know about it!      


PS : I am working towards promoting the Congenital Heart Defects in children via squidoo .In this pursuit ,I am helping Dr Mani.

I love to be pushed (and hence would love to hear from you), you could check out the lens here .

Thanks for dropping by. If you like what you read, blurb about it,tweet about it, or even  RATE it at squidoo !

~    ek   

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.  

   ~Abraham Maslow   



 Noted for his conceptualization of a “hierarchy of human needs” in the paper “A theory of human Motivation “, the American psychologist. Abraham H. Maslow stresses that there is a ladder in which these needs are positioned and without the lower ones being met, the ones at the higher level are not only impossible to meet/satisfy, but also flagrantly abuses the ones at the bottom of the ladder.        


3 Responses to "How Aam is Aam Aadmi ? Moving beyond Roti Kapra aur Makan .."

nice blog..

i think, relativity of higher needs change as the society changes.

we, human, are special.

on lighter side , we may be the biggest fool of earth.

as Douglas Adams said.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reasons.


Hi Sandeep,

Well quoted,but what we also need to know is that “intelligence is relative too..” and is attributed to a lot of factors, I might not eb high at IQ,but I can still be intelligent!
Or, I might be progressive,and towards the higher spectrum of “self-actualisation..” and yet be completely naive .matter of how we interact with our surroundings,and learn from it.

Learning is a careful,detailed and systematic process,but unlearning is ever more so.

Thanks for dropping by.


[…] . This is not to preach to learn to respect others views and personal choices of lifestyle and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but to insist how much finding your tribe, sticking on and building an authentic […]

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