Summary of First Segment of Happiness

The last few posts have shown how the great artists, poets, composers, and dancers represent the feelings of protection and safety that our family and community offer to most of us.  It is these feelings that we must all experience, or have experienced in the past, if we are to be prepared to move forward in life.

What is really fascinating is that these feelings represent the same ideas or “prose” of the great thinkers.  For example, understanding that most individuals’ need for safety is best explained from a child’s perspective, Maslow writes, “He [the child] seems to want a predictable, orderly world.  For instance, injustice, unfairness, or inconsistency in the parents seems to make a child feel anxious and unsafe. … The average child in our society generally prefers a safe, orderly, predictable, organized world, which he can count on, and in which unexpected, unmanageable or other dangerous things do not happen, and in which, in any case, he has all-powerful parents who protect and shield him from harm.”  In fact, even Aristotle understood that we must be fortunate enough to have parents and fellow citizens who help us become virtuous.

If you review the works of art from the last few posts you will see that they represent a “safe, orderly, predictable, organized world, which he [the child] can count on, and in which unexpected, unmanageable or other dangerous things do not happen …”  This observation by Maslow is mirrored in the artistic works.

It is really nice when the great thinkers (ancient and modern) and the master artists are saying the same thing.  Perhaps we can take comfort in that this first step, which most of us have already taken, is most likely true and, if the thinkers continue to agree with the artists, then the other steps may also be true.

Next up is segment two.

 

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