We are in the year 2015, and so far we have reached a stage where science and technology have advanced so drastically, that it can feel like we have reached the peak of development. Though what pushes scientists and engineers is the fact that there is always room for improvement. Some might even say that we still have a very far way to go.
As these advances are happening, as third-world countries continue to develop and as life gets easier, we are forgetting that we are leaving majority of the world behind. There are many more people living in poverty compared to those who are living happily in western civilisation. And even then, in western civilisation, we still have poor families, and homeless individuals living on the streets.
We live our lives with laptops, electronic tablets, phones, music players and computers. We don’t think twice about what we will eat every day. Yet there are people who could never fathom a rectangular device with bright colours that you can simply touch to instruct it to do a variety of things. It is these same individuals who are consumed by what they will eat, because it is so valuable and scarce.
It should be a human right, a compulsory factor of life, to have food, clothing and shelter, not a privilege
A famous psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow developed a theory called ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs‘. He uses this theory to describe the needs of an individual; similar to the food pyramid, the needs at the bottom is what is most important. For his hierarchy, he believed that the bottom level must be satisfied in order to move up into the higher sections. The bottom section, Physiological, refers to the ‘basic requirements for human survival‘. This includes things like water, food, clothing and shelter. For most of us who live in western societies and who are in third-world countries, even well-off in second-world countries, have fulfilled the bottom section without even thinking about it. We feel we are born into this world with a right to have the bottom section filled. So why is it, then, that there are people living in this modern day and age, 2015, without these basic necessities? We look at a mother who does not give their baby food, clothing and shelter, and we feel righteous anger towards her for not providing her child with basic things, yet we do not flinch when we hear of people who do not have homes, have dirty clothing and have no food to eat. Maslow proposed that without these basic physiological needs, an individual dies. There are millions of people who die of poverty and malnutrition every day, just because they cannot get access to these basic needs we as individuals from western societies take for granted.
My question is this: Why are we so focused on making a comfortable life even better for ourselves, when there are millions of people dying from these things we already have? Instead of spending money on advancing science and technology, why can’t we focus on improving the way we treat fellow humans? Why should we buy the newest phone with updated features that won’t kill us if we don’t have, when we can donate that money to businesses who are trying to help improve the state of areas stricken with poverty?
It does not make sense to me, that we must always strive for better when we already have things that are good enough. I feel like we are wasting our money and effort into things that don’t matter, when us as developed countries, should be taking a step back and picking up those who cannot afford simple necessities, and helping them reach a place where they too can live comfortable lives.