From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

'Well-fed' slaves are still slaves

(Image by FireflySixtySeven)
Back in 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized that human beings operate according to a hierarchy of needs.  He depicted these needs with striated levels of a pyramid.

At the base of the pyramid were what Maslow called “physiological” needs.  These include such things as three square meals and a shirt on the back.  Next in line was safety, which can be part physical and part psychological.

Even well-fed slaves probably don’t feel safe.  Their survival often depends upon the whims of those in charge.  When your "employers" legally own you, their whims can have devastating effects.

Farther up Maslow’s pyramid are love  and belonging, esteem and self-actualization.  Although it’s theoretically possible to be so self-actualized that love and esteem transcend abusive circumstances, it is doubtful whether many humans (enslaved or otherwise) are that mystically evolved.

When Bill O'Reilly points out that White House slaves were well-fed, is he trying to downplay the effects of such slavery? If so, the words of Abraham Lincoln come to mind: Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.


Copyright July 28, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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