A cause more than self

“Maslow was right when he postulated that there was a hierarchy of needs, that when you had enough material goods you moved your sights to social prestige and then to self realisation.

Perhaps however his hierarchy did not reach far enough. There could be a stage beyond self realisation, the pursuit of an ideal or a cause which is more than oneself.

It is this extra stage which would redeem the self centred tone of Maslow’s thesis, which for all that it rings true of much of our experience, has a rather bitter aftertaste.”


齐白石 QiBaishi’s Crabs, at the 古树新芽exhibition. Photo of block print taken by me

As George Bernard Shaw put it, in Man and Superman: This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the one being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy</em>.”

“Service to others is the rent we pay to live on earth”

“Those who invest only to get rich will fail. Those who invest to help others will probably succeed.” Arthur Fry

“It is hard, in the conditions of comfortable democracy to find a cause which lifts the efforts of the comfortable ones. That is why some fear a return to war as a way of putting some energy back into our peoples. Making money not war has turned out to be less inspiring. …

It is better to look smaller, to our now smaller organisations, to local communities and cities, to families and clusters of friends, to small networks of portfolio people with time to give to something bigger than themselves.

We have to fashion our own directions in our own places.”

The Empty Raincoat by Charles Handy

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