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The Importance Of Being Needed

What is the most basic human need? Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs has been a popular answer to this question. Beyond the basic physiological requirements of nutrition and sleep, Maslow held that a sense of safety and security is our most basic need.

I argue that this is simply not the case. Rather, Individuals may flourish in the most dangerous and unforgiving environments. Likewise, those in the safest and most secure environments may experience a great deal of despair. If a sense of safety and security is not the most fundamental human need, what is? I believe the answer is the need to be needed.

The sense that one is needed

is more important than the

struggle one must face.

What is this need to be needed?

It is an individual’s sense of significance; the feeling that they have a community, group, or individual that needs them.

This sense of self-worth can also be called ‘self-esteem’. Recent research suggests that lower levels of self-esteem leads to higher levels of suicidal ideation.

Maslow’s hierarchy is controversial since it is not based on empirical findings. Although this is the case, a study with data from 123 countries found that Maslow’s constructs do correlate to life-satisfaction.

Interestingly, the research found individuals were able to a