Lately, it's common to hear friends express feelings of aimlessness and boredom in their lives. They question what they're pursuing and find life quite dull. This got me thinking. Is the old assumption that satisfying material needs first is necessary for fulfilling other needs still applicable? Today, let's discuss with you the mundane aspects of daily life and how we might reimagine our needs!

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In our youth, we often learned about the dialogue between Confucius and Ran You in "The Analects." When Ran You asked what should be done when there are many people, Confucius replied, "Enrich them." Ran You further inquired, "Once they are enriched, what next?" Confucius answered, "Educate them."

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Confucius' words are understood as the need to first increase the population, then enrich the people, and finally educate them. This idea of first satisfying material needs before meeting the need for education is not exclusive to Eastern philosophers.

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The American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed the well-known "Hierarchy of Needs." Maslow suggested that a person's needs are progressively fulfilled: "physiological," "safety," "love and belongingness," "esteem" or "respect," "self-actualization," and "transcendence."

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However, while this linear theory of needs seems logical, it rarely occurs in society. We've heard of "eating one's fill" where these needs aren't linear or pyramid-shaped but rather a mixture, occurring simultaneously. Sociologists like Matthew Desmond, in "Evicted," and Philippe Bourgois, in "Righteous Dopefiend," as well as the Taiwanese study "Precarious Lives," repeatedly highlight the flaws in the theory of needs.

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When we rethink our needs, putting the pursuit of sustenance first and foremost, while also focusing on feeling respected, safe, and even achieving a sense of fulfillment, these become essential needs in our daily lives. Recognizing the diversity and importance of our needs and then balancing the fulfillment of our needs, big and small, is a great way to face the monotony of life.

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