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Have Human Needs Changed? Essay

888 words - 4 pages

It could also be argued that we have created our own problems, by exacerbating our basic needs. Food for example, is a basic need for survival, early man had to eat much more food than we do today due to the cold temperatures and being on the move all day. Today however, we do not have to hunt for our food and there is much more available to us, this, coupled with our fixation with technology and modern transport methods reducing our travel by foot, has resulted in record levels of obesity and heart attacks. In essence, it is our basic need for food that is one of our biggest killers, because we simply don’t know when to stop eating. An example of this was recently mentioned on BBC news, in which an expert demonstrated the average size of breakfast portions compared to what most people actually need for their daily activities. The feeling of hunger kicks in at the same level for most people, the same level has been used throughout our evolution, therefore, the feeling of hunger leads us to believe we need more food in order to survive, however, because we are now so inactive, working in offices and relaxing in front of the TV, this is not the case, and we can survive for days without food because we simply don’t burn off the calories we consume.
There is also the problem today that our food is highly processed in order to meet the demand of our huge population, this means the food we eat has exceptionally high levels of fat compared to the food that our ancestors would have eaten.
Food is not the only area that offers examples of exaggeration of our needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that we have self-esteem needs, that we need to feel a sense of achievement and be shown respect. Some people may choose to join the army or become teachers in order to realise these successes, Adolph Hitler however, took these needs to the extreme during his time ruling Germany from 1933-1945. He instilled fear into the population to gain the respect of his people, and he was certainly recognised as the ruler of Germany. He also banned all youth movements except his own – The Hitler Youth and the League of German Maidens, this has been viewed as a way of brainwashing the ‘next generation’ of Germans, this gave him a sense of dominance. Another self-esteem need is ‘mastery’; the clearest example of this under Hitler is his attempt to create a ‘master’ race of Arians, to give Germany a ‘pure’ population. It could be argued that Hitler was simply mistook his wants for needs and...

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