There are times
when it seems so clear
that the fault
I raised my child poorly.
I lead my company to bankruptcy.
I failed to support my spouse.
This often happens
when there are two things
if you’re willing
to see them.
is that you’re someone
who is willing
is that you have
Perhaps the need
to be forgiven.
Upon seeing these two things
may you learn the choice
to take responsibility
your own emotional needs
as well as worrying
about the emotional needs
One of the most difficult
and important need to manage
is our need to matter.
It is an existential need
that taps directly into our sense of self-worth.
Few are willing to admit to this need being a major driver.
Some admit to this in a roundabout way
by saying “I’m going to prove them wrong,”
which is a response to people who violated our need to matter.
Most will brush off the existence of this need
by emphasizing other needs
such as the need to contribute,
which is deemed more “altruistic,”
thus more acceptable and in alignment
with our desire to retain a self-image
of a “good” person.
Our need to matter
can serve as a powerful motivator to achieve something,
because achieving that thing may seem like the way to matter,
thus empowering us to persevere in the most difficult of times.
At the same time,
it can also blind us to behaviors that conspire against us.
Behaviors that, in hindsight, were excessive.
Behaviors we later regret.
Behaviors that may even cost us our lives
or lead to the demise of everything we’ve worked hard to build.
Our need to matter is a double-edged sword.
May we manage it
and manage well.
Most diversity and inclusion programs are primarily concerned with biases. They attempt to change someone’s behavior by telling them they’re biased. This could be effective if people were merely unaware of their biases.
In all other cases, it’s important to recognize that biases may also be either directly or indirectly fulfilling a basic human need. If letting go of a bias means depriving ourselves of our needs, we’ll experience tension. Now it’s no longer just a matter of awareness. It’s also a matter of fulfilling our needs and relieving our tension. That’s much harder.
If we’re serious about diversity and inclusion, we have to also help people discover or create an alternative way of fulfilling their needs.