As a freshman attending Western Illinois University in 1993, I was introduced to Abraham Maslow -- via textbook, of course -- in my Intro to Sociology class. Mr. Maslow is famous for developing what is commonly referred to as “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.”
This well-recognized pyramid outlines humanity’s basic needs for survival. In the middle of this five-layer pyramid is “Love/being.” As humans, we all have a need to be loved and to be a part of a larger unit. Thus, the importance of family and friends.
As a Christian, my faith teaches mankind wasn’t created to be alone. We are created to engage and to be engaged with others for the purpose for living, learning, sharing, grieving, empathy, compassion, and securing. Not having the need of “love/belong” met can lead to some negative and detrimental behavior.
Matter of fact, I believe too much isolation can be dangerous. When you study the lives of infamous cult leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh, isolation was a major tool in controlling the people who followed them. The control ultimately led to the death of many of their followers.
Over the last few weeks we have seen the devastation of isolation. From Austin, Texas, to Parkland, Florida, individuals who struggled with social belonging acted out very heinously.
If we have family or friends we haven’t talked to in a while, call them, reach out to them, let them feel the sense of belonging.
I’m not suggesting this will cure all the ills of the world, but it matters to those it does help.
I’m Joe Mitchell, and that’s my perspective.