A Source of Living

They say water is a source of life. Without water plants, animals and humans are unable to survive. Communities grow around a water source. Animals track the source of this life-giving liquid. Plants thrive when there is moisure.

And yet water is not the only source of living.

As humans, we seek for much more than mere survival. Yes, we need water and the food that we can grow with it. But we need so much more to thrive. We need shelter: a place where our bodies can be safe. We need a home:  a place where we can be quiet, a place where we can recuperate from the stresses of the day. And if we have love and acceptance in our home? An added bonus as loving care can help us develop into human beings that excel at living.

Love and acceptance cannot only help us thrive as human beings but can also lead us develop a positive sense of self-esteem. A positive sense of self can help us to make choices with confidence; it can help us be sure of our path; it can help us dare to live. It is in daring to live that we move outside the box and do things that cause us discomfort.

Going on an adventure, changing career mid-life, wearing something different, trying new foods. These actions are a reflection of who we are. We can be courageous, we can be sure of who we are, we can be comfortable in our skin. We can live and enjoy every moment.

Water may be a source of life – but it is not the source of living. Living comes from having a home, from being loved and from being accepted for who we are. Living comes from a strong sense of self and the confidence to take steps into the unknown. Living comes from so much more than drinking a glass of liquid. Yes, water may keep us alive but to live we need love and the confidence to dare experience life in its entirety.

What sources help you to live?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Water)

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Our Need for Shelter

Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed,...
Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed, and cropped version of File:Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs.svg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shelter is one of our basic needs: it is a place that can protect us from the elements, keep us warm and safe, and give us the encouragement to satisfy our other needs. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, shelter is one of the requirements for addressing our physiological needs (along with the need  food, water, air, sleep, sex). Maslow represented the human’s physiological needs as the base of a triangle to show that meeting these needs are the most important in our lives. If these needs are not met, the individual may only be able to focus on meeting their physiological needs and not feel motivated to move towards self-actualization.

Luxembourg mansion
Luxembourg mansion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Man’s shelters, though, come in many different forms depending on a person’s social status or circumstances. The wealthy provide many bedroomed mansions for themselves and their family. The rooms are richly decorated and the spaces within are light, large and airy. The occupants do not worry about running water, or warmth on cold winter days. Everyday they are able to concentrate on other activities besides the daily need to feed themselves, or the worry whether they may lose their shelter at any moment.

A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa.
A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other end of the scale are the shacks found in squatter camps and shanty towns: pieces of corrugated iron are placed together to form a shelter that houses a group of people. Running water is unavailable so, even though their need for shelter has been met, the occupants of squatter camps need to concern themselves everyday on where to find water to drink, cook, and wash. Speak to an occupant of one of these shanty towns and you will hear they are concerned, not only of being removed from their space, but also of other occupants in the town coming to steal their meagre possessions.

An apartment building in Paris
An apartment building in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us live in apartment buildings or in three bedroomed houses. We work to pay the rent or mortgage to ensure that we have a roof over our heads so that we do not have to worry about the elements or losing our space (unless we lose our ability to receive a pay check every month). With our physiological needs having been met, we can then focus on our need for safety, belonging, and self-esteem. Eventually attaining our need for self-actualization.

We often change the shelter in which we live. We leave home once we are of age and set up our own space. We marry and have children, thus requiring a larger space for the added members of our family. There comes a time in our lives when we downsize and no longer need so many rooms and spaces in which to live. But no matter what time in our lives we are, we all search for a shelter to call our own.

What shelter do you currently occupy? Are you looking at changing your shelter soon for another?

(Join Jake every week for a theme for creative inspiration. This week’s prompt is “shelter”)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012