We Are Young

In Share.mov Obama’s official blogger commented on the change that was taking place. He said, “I don’t want a revolution if I can’t dance. That’s what share is about. It’s about important ideas it’s about creating change, but it’s about having fun. If everyone is serious all the time we’ll get tired, we’ll get burnt out we won’t want to create change. Change has to be fun.”

I agree with him to the extent that people need release. In work or school, people need a break to recharge. But where I disagree is that change has to be fun. I believe in the opposite, that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of fun and the effectiveness of the change. Did the Libyans have fun overturning Gaddafi? Were the people in the Arab Springs having fun protesting?

One of the main reasons why I disagree with him has to do with the basic needs of humans. In terms of the desperation and effort to change, I look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The theory behind this pyramid is that each level needs to be satisfied in order to reach the next level. The base is the physiological needs that are needed to live. This includes food, water, breathing etc. The highest level is self-actualization which deals with morality, creativity, and acceptance of facts. Relating this chart back to the different degrees of change, the physiological needs are those changes that people face in Libya and the Arab Springs. There, people’s lives are threatened both physically and philosophically. When the basic necessities of your life are threatened self-actualization or in this case fun/entertainment gets pushed to the side. One of the biggest criticisms of this model is that very few reach the top level of self-actualization. One of the reasons why I believe that this is true is that people reach a comfort level and therefore are less motivated to change. Going back to the quote from Obama’s blogger, one of the reasons why I believe that the more fun you have, the less likely change will take place is because of the lack of necessity. Granted, change can occur at all levels, but the severity of the situation plays a huge factor. Simply put, the more time for fun, the less of a pressing need to change.

http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds.htm

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~ by digitalamericathebeautiful on March 9, 2012.

One Response to “We Are Young”

  1. Interesting. But what if you are born into a society, like ours, where the first four levels of the pyramid are met automatically — at least among those “who count.” This hierarchy assumes that all humans are equal, something that our society does not endorse or practice. I don’t know exactly why you’re in college, but I know that it isn’t for any of the two to three levels of that pyramid. Your presence is proof of that.

    Further: Look at the situation post Arab spring. A lot of those countries have lost the ground they gained during their “revolutions.” I ask: If their pursuit of change had been through “fun” (adapted to their local circumstances) and not through violence, perhaps that change might be more sustainable?

    Now I don’t think this is an automatic qualification; Syria is the perfect example of that. But I don’t think that Obama’s blogger was talking about anyone outside of the hip, tech-enabled younger crowd to which you belong.

    One can take his argument and contradict it with facts from beyond that argument’s context. But be honest.

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