January Reflection

You may have noticed a change with the blog-well there has been one. I completed my adventure into hope so the recipes will be there, but this year I will be taking a different stance. Following the suggestion of Writing Presence who writes an excellent blog, I am going to write twelve reflections, for the twelve months of the year.

Today’s is about how my local community is rippling out kindness to one another. I live in Thanet, one of the most deprived communities in the South East, with high levels of unemployment, many suffering from physical disability or mental health issues. Things here are on paper, pretty grim.

Add to that and what do you get? In actual fact, the opposite from what you would imagine. People helping one another. I am part of an online Facebook community called The Clothes/Shoes Helpline and this is where people need items and other people give. So someone might need nappies and another person has spare, so they give them. It is a give and take process. An exchange of kindness.

I run a clothing bank which is also a befriending service. Maslow’s hierachy of needs is very interesting here. Maslow states that the most fundamental human need is food, water, warmth and rest.

See the source image

Sadly many people do not have enough food. Their physiological needs are unmet. With the pandemic, if basic needs are not met, then people are much more likely to catch Covid. Perhaps meeting these basic needs will help in the fight against it.

In order to self-actualise, many steps need to be climbed. And so food banks are vital, as are clothes banks. Many people on universal credit cannot afford to heat their homes, so basic necessities such as bedding, shoes and warm clothes are beyond theie meagre means. If something breaks down, it is likely the choice will be made to do without.

Thus many families in today’s Britain have no decent bedding, shoes with holes in and children without a warm coat. In my view, every town now needs a food bank and a clothes bank too.

redistribution of unwanted good is becoming a necessity. Let’s recycle unwanted items to charities, rather than chuck them. Or put things outside to be taken away. A small clothes rail with free clothes on it may really help someone. You could put a note saying please only touch what you take.

Just a few thoughts. So much is written about saving our planet. Perhaps we could be creative with recycling and far less would go to landfill.


maslow’s hierarchy of needs – Bing images (accessed 20/01/01).

The bare necessities of life

Because we are in lockdown, I am feeling inspired by things around me, often songs. The words of songs are having a profound impact upon me, as are videos of people giving inspirational messages.

A song that has impacted me this week is from ‘The Jungle Book’. It talks about the ‘bare necessities of life’. As life has been pared right back for us all, I feel we are learning what the bare necessities mean. What do we need for life?

The 5 Levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

This very well known pyramid details our bare necessities of life in successive steps. The top of the pyramid is ‘self actualisation’, which occurs when all the other steps are in place. The most essential are physiological and safety needs. It is interesting that in this pandemic the physiological aspects of life i.e. health, food, water are paramount and then safety-keeping ourselves safe from harm and socially distancing are the next priority. Love and belonging are being fostered through using social media and the internet, so we can connect with our loved ones and wider community, in a new way.

Self-actualisation is at the top of the pyramid but this is only achievable when all the other conditions are met. And although a good aim, it is not considered essential. Some people arguably, are not in a position to consider self actualisation, because they are strugling to meet their physiological and safety needs.

Although Maslow is not definitive, his proposed hierachy of needs is extremely interesting. It makes us reflect on those ‘bare necessities of life’. It helps us to review what needs are most important and what are non-essential. And makes us appreciate the small things, which I have spoken of before.

Today’s recipe of hope is to listen to this song and think about the ‘bare necessities’ and what these look like to you. And give some thought to your needs being met-my family has had some lovely gifts of food from others brought to our door. And I am truly grateful for those acts of kindness.

Enjoy the song and happy Sunday everybody X