Hierarchy of Neediness.
(Poor me: always, damnit.)
In Maslow’s theory of human motivation,
needs were mapped out in a pyramid form.
The broad array of physiological needs was
at the bottom, followed by the almost equally
wide range of safety needs: things like bodily
and financial security, secure physical health
and work, and property ownership.
Transcendent needs, like truth, justice,
wisdom and self- actualization,
were in the tiniest triangle
up at the
As their “lower-level” needs were met,
people moved up the pyramid; they did
not – unless the material circumstances
of their lives changed dramatically –
move back. Judith Warner
NY TIMES (Oct. 19)
Fundamentally speaking: my bottom line
needs never go away & I was born at the top
of the pyramid—de-Sphinxed: Oedipus set me
free at last as it were: privileged in the Promised
Land, living in laps of lux et veritas as well as
erudito et religeo
& Physiological considerations
plague me like locusts, katydid & cicadae:
buzzing of coeds & liberal artists clamoring
for grade point averages, faculty agonizing over
bench mark discrepancies, administrators worried
about litigation, & staff doing bottom line best to
support the physical if not physiological hierarchy
of liberal arts hire educational ex officio
Transcendent needs, like truth, justice, wisdom
and self-actualization, were in the tiniest triangle
up at the top.
way at the top,
peek-a-boo: eyeballing me
that little tease! Chaos gap separating it
from the friction of lower layers like shear
windrows. Bottom lines: ooomyyygawwd
I got always to be taking care of busy-ness
FIRST & then maybe tend to the
“PRIMARY! Got to be building the roads,
Sam: the infra- structure,” said Dean Spence
McWilliams: Primordialist, our Buddhist dean
of the 80’s— one who introduced Grade Point
Numerical Averaging to the Faculty Evaluation
Quality Control System: numbers say it all.
Crunching that bottom line!
I asked him once, “Would you be a happier,
more effective Dean, Spence, if we evaluated
you four times a year. See how your driving
is going?” (Spence: motorcycle maintenance
& sports cars, too.)
“Absolutely not,” he said unaware of any irony.
Seemingly. As far as I could tell. How COULD
it help: such ongoing scrutiny? How’m I doing?
Now, how’m I doing? Now: how’m I doing?
Every move you make
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you.
How to transcend & self actualize, so to speak,
tend to truth, justice and wisdom with basics &
bottom lines, the fundamental foundations
crying to be re-laid again & again & again:
bottom lines with me always: fundamental?
It beats me
me & my esteem,
belonging, safety and
physiological needs, damnit,
not to mention my desire. Now
that I am at one of the top 10 “coolest”
of colleges & universities across the land,
maybe I can at last get all transcendental on
my butt. Truth-iness: bottom line hoisted to the
peak of the hierarchy of neediness so as to raise high
the roof beam-carpenters & build me more stately mansions,
o my soul! .