“Love your neighbour as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39
This third article about our love and belonging needs comes after physiological and safety and security needs.
Our basic premise is that disharmony in the minds among our 7.9 billion fellow humans is the scourge of modern society. After satisfying our basic needs, our hypothesis is that love is the bond that glues us humans together.
The first movie I attended was “Love is a many splendored thing.” The opening lyrics of the theme song are “Love is a many splendored thing, It’s the April rose that only grows in the early Spring, Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living, The golden crown that makes a man a king.”
This level of Maslow’s hierarchy sequentially embraces the need for socialization, communication, friendship, family, and love. These then lead to relationships which connect us to destiny.
My socialization began by making friends at Montessori, primary and secondary school meeting children from all social classes, participating in plays, festive house and beach parties, playing outdoor sports and indoor games with neighbors and the children of friends of my parents, at Sunday school, in the Boy Scouts, photographic club etc.
Then there was my stint at the University of the West Indies, which was the first time I felt Caribbean. It continued with the experience being a West Indian student in the U.K., becoming a Rotarian and now we operate in a virtual environment. Socialization is a lifelong experience.
The art of communication is the bridge between socialization and true friendship. Because we are all socialized in diverse ways our communication methods may be different, i.e., the way we inform, express feelings, imagine, influence, and respond to social expectations will be different between pairs of individuals.
To overcome the challenge of establishing friendship and love, we must minimize conflict between the sender and the receiver as we send and interpret messages. This is a process and we have to keep on working at it to make communication effective.
True friendship between select individuals, which is the state that we want to achieve, is manifested by mutual benefit of support for each other in the best interest of the individual.
We stand up for and defend our true friends when others try to hurt you emotionally or physically without reservation or reward.
However, a loyal friend will also criticize you if they think that you are propelling yourself along a path that will endanger you or the friendship.
The family unit consists of the patriarch and matriarch, genetic ties, the natural nurturing from birth, and the godparenting. Family gatherings and enterprises all strengthen family unity. The collective impact of families bonded within and between each other represent the pillars around which a stable society is built. Friendship is the underlying bond that strengthens the fabric of the family unit.
Emotional love is a sense of closeness that is experienced between friends. It comes from the heart.
Mental love is the mutual respect for each other’s intellectual gifts.
Physical love is about sharing. It is the source of procreation. Spiritual love is about our communication with God.
Here is our chance during this festive Christmas season to practise “loving thy neighbor as thy self” as we vaccinate and reunite with family and friends, albeit within the COVID-19 public heath restrictions.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com)