Survive or Thrive?

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Human experience in the personal as well as the public domains has shown that things usually have to get really bad before something can begin to change. Maybe Trump and what he and his supporters have unleashed is it.

For me the struggle is always between two approaches to life. One is based on our mammal instinct to survive, physically. Along with it goes competitiveness and the belief of some people that they have a right to hoard more for themselves and advance themselves at the expense of others. 

The other approach goes beyond physical survival to something much more. In therapy we call it thriving or self-actualisation, becoming all we can become. In a world based on the latter, no group or individuals are seen as more worthy or more entitled. We are not *identical* in our needs or abilities, our culture, or customs. But in a world that focuses on potential and not just on physical survival, we are all equal in our value and our worth and in our need and right to fulfil our potential whatever it might be. Equality in value and worth is not up for debate. It is a given.

If we run all human affairs at all levels with a focus on thriving and potential , we can create a world that is safe and hospitable, safe and enriching for everyone. All our fundamental needs (we all know what they are) will be available for everyone, alongside opportunities to develop to our fullest potential.

We are self-aware mammals. The way we have evolved, physical survival takes priority. So if people are struggling to find food, shelter, water, safety, their innate need to self-actualise and develop their potential will be frustrated. It will still be there but it will not be supported or expressed when basic needs are not met.

People cannot be well psychologically if they cannot fulfil their potential. We cannot be well in a world run by people and principles that make physical survival, competitiveness and survival of the more ruthless, the focus of our economics, work relationships, or anything else. We will never be well if we leave development and fulfilment of potential to what’s left in the cracks and continue with unnecessary and pointless competition and an ethos of scarcity.

From the article below:
“The breathtaking pace of destruction wrought over the past two years ought to be viewed as the desperate last gasp of a defunct conservative ideology that is utterly shameless in its designs and boundless in its scope. No issues are sacrosanct when it comes to today’s Trump-supporting, card-carrying Republican Party—from every woman’s right to safety and security; to workers’ rights to living wages, decent jobs, health care and Social Security; to immigrants’ rights to safety and family; to children’s rights to breathe clean air and drink clean water; to the right of our species to be safe from a changing climate; and to so many more. No issues, that is, save for the U.S. military and white supremacist Christian fundamentalism.”

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