I chose to start with this connection, of the Nine Necessary Connections, in large measure because of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html).
Generally, a means of support is considered important in order to have the basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. Sounds about right, doesn't it? In preparation for writing this, I've been thinking and I've come to the conclusion that one doesn't have to have a means of support before or in order to have some of the other connections; connections that Maslow might have placed higher in the hierarchy. For example, my very limited experience and work with people who happen to be homeless has shown me that they often have strong connections to a significant other and to groups. They are likely to have a connection to history, certainly as our personal histories tend to center around family. In reality, it is easy to see how a person who is homeless may have all of the necessary connections.
|About age 13 - volunteering as a Candy Striper|
How does the means of support connection sync with the existential questions? (see the About Me section up above):
Does my life matter?
Indeed I think it does and has. I recently did a rough calculation of the number of children and families I have worked with over my 35+ year career as a social worker and guesstimate that I have touched the lives of 10,000 kiddos, their brothers and sisters, moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles and other assorted family members. I know that every child I have worked with has had an impact on me, and I hope that my connection to those children and families was positive for them. Whether it was babysitting or social work, the following quote from Forest Witcraft fits for me.
Have I been the authentic me?
|Center Stage as a CEO|
What do you think? Was Maslow correct? Do we need to have a means of support in order to move up the hierarchy of needs? Or are we able to have other connections even when our means of support is challenged by homelessness or finding ourselves unemployed? How do/did we create work ethic in our children? How do we help or support our children in going a means of supper that has deep personal connection for them.
Would love for you to comment below!
CREDITS: Pasztor E., Polowy, M., Wasson, D., Wolf, M. (1987). Preparing Youth in Out of Home Care for Interdependent Living (A Training Manual for Forster Parents, Child Care Staff and Social Workers). Atlanta: Child Welfare Institute; and West Hartford: University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
Candy Striper, probably 1967, photographer unknown @ Community Hospital of Boulder, CO
CEO, TeamPhotoGenic, 2013