Sometimes, I ask; what do human beings really want? A school of thought has it that people don’t know what they want [at work, in relationships and even from life]. In the flow of life [keeping an eye on tomorrow], I have come to place very high value on the work done by Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) whose PhD, at the University of Wisconsin in 1934, initiated his thirst for understanding how people think and behave. Looking through his popular model for humans’ Hierarchy Of Needs, otherwise perceivable as a theory on Motivational Psychology, there’s no gainsaying the vital stages one has to conquer [in Family, Friendship, Business or even Politics], both to ‘win with people’ and to ‘win people over’.
The question, however, would be to know how gullible people can be when they meet one who can “talk the talk”. Is there really a place for checking the motive of the ‘talker’? Advertisers and Public Relations Experts, as I’m told, are trained to paint a predetermined picture of a certain brand to its prospective customers; regardless of how incomplete the statement of terms or how far from the truth the very product details are. Yet, not only do we have such customers patronizing the well-packaged item; a good number of young minds have left [and are still leaving] their primary fields of endeavour for that of the best liar that ever got paid to do so.
Of course, not all advertisers are liars. We’re just having a free hypothetical ride here. Don’t get it twisted! PR is very good business; even when absolute truth isn’t.
The first, and most basic level, is Physiological; this includes the need for air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc. Secondly, we come to the need for Safety; by which we crave security, order, law, limits, stability, protection from elements, etc. While on these first two levels, it’s easy to either threaten or guarantee a person’s sense of survival.
Next, our need for Love is indicative of our deep sense of belonging [or, at least, a need for acceptance]; through our work groups, family, general affection in relationships, etc. Then, our Esteem needs prove our quest for self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc. At the zenith of it all, we experience the need for Self-Actualization; a stage where realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences become our most important pursuits.
Though I love to study human beings; I have yet some distance to cover, in getting a comprehensive understanding of our “basic instinct” in every situation. I have observed that most of the problems we have, as humans of every tongue and tribe, are premised upon misunderstandings and inevitable misgivings that follow such.
The dictionary defines prejudice as an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand, or without knowledge of the facts. Again, it could be any preconceived (italics mine) opinion or feeling, whether positive or negative. On the extreme side of things, prejudice is said to be an irrational hostile attitude, fear or hatred towards a particular group, race or religion. For now, kindly let’s put aside the last extreme definition, assuming that may be somewhat beyond the purview of our discussion [on a “twisted state of mind”].
Imagine that Mr.Hailstorm is a leader [say, the Governor of a State] who takes up the post with his ‘ideals’ set in place. He gets right down to work, bearing in mind his great and lofty heights to attain. In the process, he steps on toes; not that he derives pleasure in hurting people, but certain things just must be set in perspective. The result? He’s labeled not only as “arrogant”, but also “insensitive”, as his lack of relational skill is seen as a major dysfunction. Could it be that his impoverished set of followers are crying out because they’re just not ready to delay gratification for the common good of everybody, at the end of day? We really may not know all the facts, but those concerned can judge accurately.
In an attempt to psycho-analyse people in such an instance, a most senior colleague, ‘Bisi Adeniran, says that very little is achievable when you build solely on an intellectual base while neglecting the immediate perceptions of the ‘injured’. You’ll quickly be seen as high-handed, because you’re imposing your helpful Intelligence Quotient at the expense of Emotional Quotient. In his estimation, it is very hard for Hailstorm to carry out his ‘dreams’ of developing a State when he blatantly disregards the followers who feel the pinch of sacrifice; howbeit worthwhile. There’ll be a need to merge the pursuit of ideals with conscientious effort to acknowledge the pain of people.
There’s yet another side of the coin; Mr.Brimstone, a different personality, who has perfected the art of guile, as a leader. Known or unbeknownst to the majority of followers, Brimstone [who once proved deception in his persona] is embraced for two obvious reasons: to have one who superficially makes them “feel good” and/or simply antagonise the one who seemingly has intellectual and developmental substance to offer but with little regard for their “feelings”. Could it be that, again, people would rather remain in such a poor state [of mind and material] that it only takes someone who massages their ego and caresses their emotion to have his way with them?
Make no mistake here! This is not centered on politics, or any known issue for that matter. It simply is a case of perception; how an Administrator or Manager [in any area] is judged when subordinates and followers see him as being, or having become, emotionally distant. Little wonder, in SEAL’s song, People Asking Why, there’s a brilliant series of questions;
“There are people asking: How do I get to where I’ve come from…How do I paint this garden I’ve destroyed green?”
Little do we know that even the so-called dysfunctional mind asks himself questions all the time.
This is the point where I love to bring it all to a close. I believe there’s no point identifying problems, whereas having no thirst to fetch out possible solutions. Yes, I said “possible” solutions; meaning that they may not be the very best of ideas. That’s why we all are in this together.
Sometimes, I wonder if it’ll be easy for Hailstorm to take time out just to connect with people emotionally. Otherwise, can anyone possibly get Brimstone to change his faulty character for the better; especially because he’s already skilled at cajoling people, howbeit with sham gestures. Which would we rather accept, people? In another song, Newborn Friend, SEAL talks about “washing one’s faith in dirty water, as it gives one’s mind a little order”. Ironic, isn’t it? Well, drastic measures may be needed sometimes.
Is there any sacrifice too big to pay for a sincere heart that gets it wrong in ‘
communication skill‘ (sorry; I mean…) ‘people skills’? By such, I’m referring to the skill required to appeal to people’s hearts, far beyond mere grammar. [It’s important to set that right, lest I be crucified for any personal misconception]. You think it, it exits your mouth differently, the hearer receives a totally different message and their prejudices re-calibrate not only the content but also the context of your message. Twisted world, isn’t it?
In the end, however, who loses out ultimately? Is it, Mr.Hailstorm, the positivity-focused elite who has some flaws against his name, albeit social? Or is it the people who shortchange themselves [in the bigger picture] by embracing Mr.Brimstone, just to oppose Hailstorm’s big dreams for their own good (and not his)?
Who has taught our people to demand, of a leader, something that only an Angel can give? Why have we chosen to place major stakes on minor needs; and vice-versa? Is delayed gratification the same as suffering mentality? It has been said, over and again, that a people will get the kind of government they deserve to have. Just how long must a person hold back from eating his seeds to ensure a well-timed planting and watering process, before he begins to see and harvest the fruits of his labour?
Inspired by a desert crash, author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (born June 29, 1900) says in his French novella, The Little Prince…
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Above all else, the heart has no reason to lie to anyone who can hear it speak. It will help, a whole lot, to avoid the psychedelic tendencies shown by those who allow themselves to be cajoled by guile masters who have no other motive than to wield undeserved influence over them.
★This article is an excerpt from APOLOGETIX, a psycho-analytical adaptation of Nature’s Cardinals©; intellectual property of Green Tempers Initiative®, of which Damilola MacGregor is a Registered Trustee.
PHONE (Whatsapp / Viber)