Sunday, March 04, 2007

On avocadoes, pits, and Abraham Maslow

I love watching spam message subject lines. Well, okay, not always. The ones that say things like, "DID U WANT TO CUM LIKE A PORN STAR!!?!" are sort of boring, but some of the ones that try to sneak through the spam detectors can be fun to watch.

I got one today that made me smile. It said: "Self-Actualized Avocado Pit."

That wasn't what the ad was about, actually. The ad was trying to sell viagra and cialis, but that doesn't much matter.

What matters was, the subject line made me smile. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it was nice to be reminded of self-actualization, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a concept I haven't thought much about since the handful of psych courses I took in my misspent youth. Maybe because the idea of self-actualized avocado is just plain goofy. Maybe because I just needed a smile.

But then I got to thinking.

*What if* an avocado pit actually *was* self-actualized? What then?

Then an avocado pit would be better off then me. Better off than a flesh-and-blood human being, with hopes and dreams and fears and disappointments. Mind you, I suppose that avocado pit would actually be better than *most* of us, but that didn't really occur to me at the time. Just that, for a handful of seconds, I faced the possibility that somewhere in the world there was an avocado pit that was happier and more psychologically sound than I was.

That made me a little bit sad.

Looking at Maslow's hierarchy of needs (which you can find nicely summarized at Wikipedia here), I'd say I'm probably stuck at the "Love / Belonging" level, which is sort of frustrating, because if I could get past that, I think I'm actually doing okay at the "Esteem" level, which means self-actualization for *me* and not just for some stupid avocado pit would then be on the horizon. And that would be pretty cool.

All this is, of course, assuming that Maslow and his hierarchy of needs isn't horseshit. Which, hey, maybe it is. What do I know.

No comments: