Girl who dances in a cage (cagekitten) wrote,
Girl who dances in a cage
cagekitten

being recognized/feeling important

I've always thought that part of being fulfilled as a human being is being recognized and appreciated for your talents and gifts and individual form of expression. The book I'm reading takes that theory a step further by saying that people need to feel important. John Dewey, one of America's most profound philosophers, phrased it like this: "The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important."

This chapter also presents a list of what people want:

1. Health and the preservation of life
2. Food
3. Sleep
4. Money and the things money will buy
5. Life in the hereafter
6. Sexual gratification
7. The well being of our children
8. A feeling of importance

I wonder if by "importance" they just mean that we want to matter. American psychologist and philosopher William James once said, "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."

The book goes on to say:

"It was this desire for a feeling of importance that inspired Dickens to write his immortal novels. This desire inspired Sir Christopher Wren to design his symphonies in stone. This desire made Rockefeller amass millions that he never spent! And this same desire made the richest family in your town build a house far too large for its requirements. It is this desire that lures many boy and girls into joining gangs and engaging in criminal activities."

That last line really made me think. Is the cure for gangs to get our young kids into programs that allow them to express themselves creatively and gain appreciation for their talents so they never need gangs? The book even went so far as to say that the main reason wives leave their husbands is lack of appreciation (and that it may be the same for husbands who leave as well).

So for those of you that have read this far, what examples have you seen in your own life of a desire to matter or be important? What makes you feel important? To what lengths do you go to get it and how do you feel when you don't?
Tags: growth, quote of the day
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