Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Maslow, Locke, and Me

Before the Declaration of Independence listed the unalienable right to pursuit happiness, John Locke expressed his opinion that the government should protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.  Approximately three centuries later, psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced his Hierarchy of Needs - more or less his ideas of the road map to happiness.

Then, late in the 20th century, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints published "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" which outlines the responsibilities of both the mother and the father in the home.  "By divine design," it reads, "fathers are... responsible to provide the necessities of life... for their families."

With all these thoughts, philosophies, and beliefs floating around in my head one day, I suddenly realized that as part of a happy marriage based on the principles found in the Proclamation, I definitely take it for granted some days that Kirk will just provide.  I am incredibly grateful to feel like I am at the top of Maslow's pyramid pretty much every day, just looking around and thinking, "Wow, I have it pretty great."  But lest Kirk think his job is done, I realized that there 3 specific things that I look to him to provide.

Here it is: my earth-shattering, highly philosophical list of needs:

1. Safe and reliable transportation.  I need to be able to get to and from work.  I need to be able to take an injured child directly to the emergency room if necessary.  I need the freedom that a V-6 engine, four-wheel drive, and ample trunk space allows me.

2. Hot water.  To wash our dishes.  To wash our clothes.  To bathe in luxuriously.  Not only does my husband make certain the hot water flows from the faucets, but he even goes out of his way to make certain that it is always available in whatever quantities I desire.  He showers on Saturday night so I can fill our tub way too full with water that is way too hot, leaving none left for anybody else.

3. High speed internet.  To me, this may just be the very definition of self-actualization.  And if it breaks, it is somehow Kirk's fault (and definitely his responsibility to fix).

To be fair, I could technically provide these things for myself.  And to be honest, I do realize that this whole post needs to end #firstworldproblems.  And while I jest, it's really out of gratitude for all that I have.

When I announced this list of needs to Kirk in the kitchen one day, he laughed.  I told him he's required to provide them for me - it's in the Proclamation.  He laughed again.  Then he stumped me with a question.  "So, what are you required to provide for me?"

I couldn't answer right away, but finally responded.  "The kids' education.  Ultimately, it is my job to make sure they are receiving a proper spiritual and secular education."

In retrospect, I guess that's not really something I "provide" for him so much.  Rather something I do which means it's done.  And when I consulted the Proclamation, it turned out I was pretty much right.  "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."  And since I pretty much suck and hugs and soothing, I've decided to translate "nurture" into "education."

Hmmm... brief break as I go consult Mirriam-Webster on that one.

Nurture: "the sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism"

Oooh!  I like that even better.  My job is the environmental factors that influence our kids.  That's what I do.

And to do it, I will definitely need a car, the internet, and a bath!