What kind of domino must I knock over (for me it’s usually a murder) that will topple one scene after another to arrive at a logical conclusion (generally a life and death battle)? My goal is to plunge my hero into a crisis through which she will emerge a better, stronger, wiser individual.
Although most people don’t regularly run afoul of the criminally insane, we do experience the effects of the decisions we make and those made for us.
My family built a home for a family who desperately needed one in Mexico this weekend. It was a lovely, exhausting, feel-good kind of day—a day filled with camaraderie and the kind of serotonin hits that come from accomplishment.
It got me thinking about ripple effects. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need proposes our needs must be fulfilled in order, climbing from physical, to psychological, and finally to spiritual, or self-fulfillment. If you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, you’re probably not at your creative best, never mind what they say about starving artists.
It looks like this:
Self-Actualization (creativity, fulfilling potential)
Esteem (prestige, accomplishment)
Social (tribe, friends, mate)
Safety (shelter, security)
Physiological (food, water, warmth, rest)
By helping meet the family’s first two needs this past weekend, we pushed them higher up the pyramid. The organization we work with, Corazon, also has community programs in which local families trade services and develop friendships, adult classes that teach practical skills, and a scholarship program for children. These things give them another bump up the ladder.
Of course, we improve the day to day lives of people. But I love to imagine the children we’ve built homes for becoming the next generation of Tijuana leaders, creating clean drinking water, trash and sewage solutions, a vibrant economy. Maybe one of those lovely kids will grow to become a veterinarian and champion the cause of the underprivileged Mexican dog. You never know, but I do know those things won’t happen if they’re not lifted out of the dirt.
Continuing last month’s anti-loneliness theme, doing good with loved ones is truly bonding. As is a well-deserved meal eaten together, and the shared experience of a four hour line at the border.
LOVE TO THE BORIS TRIBE!