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Building a Strong Foundation

In our lives, there are things we want and things we need.  Some things that we want might include a car, new clothes, a vacation, eating at a restaurant, or seeing a movie.

Our most basic needs include things like air, water, food, warmth and rest. These are called physical needs.  If something is physical, it is about or related to the body. These physical needs form a foundation upon which we can add or “build” other needs and wants.

We can divide the things we need and want into different levels, according to their relationship to human growth.  For a person to be alive, the foundation must be taken care of first.  Then, we may add additional needs and wants. A person must meet lower level needs before he or she can meet higher-level needs and wants.

 

For example, if people are homeless and living on the streets, they will not be concerned with having the best clothes or a stylish haircut.  They are concerned with staying warm and finding a place to sleep. If people are very hungry and nearly starving, then things like getting a good grade on a test, wearing nice makeup, or winning an award will not be as important as getting food to eat.

Think about when construction workers are building a new house.  The construction workers first create a foundation for the entire house. Next, they build the first level, which we sometimes call the first floor.

Some houses have a second level.  This is the upstairs.  Building a second floor first would be impossible because there wouldn’t be any foundation for the second level to sit on.  Workers must build the first floor, and the first floor depends on the foundation. Then the workers can add a second or third level to build a bigger house.  

We human beings are the same.  Our most basic physical needs must be taken care of first, which provide a strong foundation to add other things that we need, want, and enjoy.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners