Acceptance is Necassary




Acceptance is Necessary

All living things have needs. Whether the needs be as basic as food or as complex as discovering the reason for existence, all organisms have them. “Maslow wrote that, beyond the basic needs for water, food, shelter, and the like, people’s needs are ‘for safety, belongingness and identification, for close love relationships, and for respect and prestige’”. In a way, we all strive to fulfill these needs at some point in our lives. For example, in order to satisfy the need for safety, human beings live together in a society with laws that, if broken, have undesirable consequences attached. Most people also have friends and family throughout their lives to satisfy the need for close love relationships. As people grow older, they will, at least at some point, try to fulfill this need through a relationship with a significant other. One human need at all age levels and one that is recognized by Maslow is the need for belongingness or acceptance by one’s peers. However, the way people become accepted is harder to determine than the other needs. How do individuals come to be accepted by their peers? One approach to gaining acceptance is by knowing the essential cultural knowledge common to your peers. This essential cultural knowledge changes as we grow older in order to better suit the maturity level of our peers, and gain the acceptance we all long for.
Many people agree that, in most cases, as we grow older, our maturity level grows as well. One way of measuring the maturity level of children is by seeing the way a child responds to authority. Mature children will respect authority, be well mannered to some degree, and know the difference between right and wrong even if they don’t always choose right. Children, in general, respond more to a reward and punishment decision-making system than they do to an ethical approach to making judgments. The maturity level for adults is measured in a different way than it is for children. A mature adult makes decisions based on what the right thing to do is. Mature elders show a genuine care for others, go out of their way to help them, are less reckless, and have a better sense of reality. In short, mature adults think about how they can help the world around them.
When people are immature in the company of their peers, they are often shunned. Throughout most of written history, there have been people who have been educated in some form and people who have not been “enlightened”. The immature are stereotyped by many as belonging to the latter category. The educated people formed a list of essential cultural knowledge that one ought to know in order to communicate common concepts to other educated people. It is like an education club. In the same way a tennis player knows about the history, rules, and tournaments of the sport, educated people know the popular plays, novels, and music of the society they live in.
How do individuals come to know what the essential cultural knowledge is in their society? This essential cultural knowledge changes with the maturity group. What is essential for children is not essential for adults and vice versa. Children could not care less about the news or the opera or some new play in town. Heaven forbid a twelve year old watches the news when pro wrestling is on the other channel. Similarly, adults have little use for knowing what the newest Nike shoes look like, what Tom Green did on comedy central the night before, or what the new candy by Willy Wonka tastes like. For children, essential cultural knowledge has more to do with material things or name brands. Educated adults would prefer to discuss more global issues like politics. This is the reason why it is difficult for adults and children to communicate and understand the point of view of the other. The point is what makes certain cultural knowledge essential depends on the age and maturity group one belongs to.
Acceptance by any group is something that people need in order to feel complete. Human beings could survive by simply eating food, drinking water, making clothes, and gathering wood to build a shelter. These are the basic needs for