The Hiearchy of Needs was originally defined by Maslow as being the pinnacle of his hierarchy of needs. It is a conceptual model that speaks to the height of satisfying our most advanced need, which is our sense of being.
On a certain level Maslow is correct. We all need to take care of our bioligical and security needs before we can have the luxury to work on our self-development. But if you evaluate the entire model, it is all about a singular self. There is no recocgnition of the self in the context of a social or ecological world.
Sure, Love & Belonging has a social component since that means to Love others and the Belong to others. But if there was no Love or Self-Sacrifice and Protection offered by mothers and fathers, then we as babies and children would not make out of of the bottom level.
Man’s Search for Meaning explained this well.
At a more fundamental level, our parents and families would not be here if we did not have a society that could take advantage of the earth’s resources. Ecologically we would be nothing if we did not have a hospitable planet and a society and economic system that allows many of us the opportunity for comfort and a means to
The Hierarchy of Needs needs to be renovated- it is currently a pyramid of ego achievement. The presentation of the pyramid is that the base is a building a block for the higher level. If that was the case then we need Earth, Society, and Family listed below it. And at the top of the pyramid is not self-actualization, but the cherishing the external. Otherwise, one’s creativity, spirituality, and purpose is just a form of ego aggrandizement.
We do not come from nothing to become a self-actualized person. We are part of a ecological, societal, and familial matrix, with a unique perspective that demands a balance between bravery and sacrifice for others.
The paradox is that we are individuals, unique, but we derive a highest meaning by sharing ourselves with everyone else who is just as unique. The Asian community mindedness where ego is repressed or the Eurocentric view that individuality overrides community need are both extremes. A new hierarchy of needs would not be a pyramid but a matrix. Different needs for different circumstances.