3.a.5 – Is it correct to seek welfare?

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March 9, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

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Is it correct to seek welfare?

 When we take care of our lives, we rightly say that we are seeking our welfare; this word basically expresses the sensation of feeling well. The exquisite sensations we feel when we eat good food are messages telling our brain that we have reached in the best way the purpose of nourishing ourselves; in general, when a sense of wellbeing pervades us, we know that we were well taken care of ourselves and then of our lives.
For feeling good, health is not enough, there are also other needs to be met, like to form a family, have relationships, feel important, have a social role, in other words all that makes us feel fulfilled. In these cases we talk of psychological needs, but perhaps it would be more correct to say natural needs, considering that we are social animals designed by nature to move, to make experiences, to accompany ourselves by our kin and to occupy a place in the hierarchy of the group. All activities aiming at making us feel satisfied should be then considered positive, but it is easy to notice that not all of them are aimed at improving our lives. How can we feel our life is fulfilled through behavior contrary to our health and to our life? Yet it happens every day to most people. It is then necessary to make some reflections on this bizarre situation recalling how our nature has a dual soul: a genetic and a cultural one; by examining the borderline, it clearly appears that our education profoundly affects the perception of our needs: the Franciscan monks led a life in poverty and full of sacrifices to feel realized, for the ancient samurai the most was to die in war, for an entrepreneur, the best satisfaction may be to make its holdings be the first in its sector and to this purpose he sacrifices every human relationship. How can be possible that to feel good we should die in war, be poor or working a whole lifetime to win the competitors? The purpose of welfare should not be to show us the right way to protect our lives? The answer is no, or at least not always. The search for satisfaction brings us not only to the protection of life, but to its realization, namely to achieve clearly defined objectives, both genetic and cultural, set by our nature; at this point we must remember that our culture can be negative and wrong, that can prefer other interests to our life, especially those linked to the group, requiring enormous efforts to climb or maintain the position in the social pyramid, making efforts for the others exceeding what would be reasonable, up to the sacrifice of our own lives or, even worse, of the life of our children letting them participate, for example, to wars absolutely useless for them.
So our psychological needs can be in conflict with the real values of our lives and those of our loved ones; it is not always true, therefore, that to seek realization is the same as taking care of our own lives; we must recognize again the importance of a sound education to protect our values adequately; the models to be proposed to ourselves and to our children should orient us towards a life that respects our nature with behaviors that make our good and that do not push us to unnecessary sacrifices.

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