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Human development

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Human development Introduction: We the human beings interpret our experiences gained through relationships and encounters with ourenvironment and embed those experiences in our meaning structure. Our relationships and encounters are always both impressive and expressive (Kriz. J, 2006: p. 166) and dynamically inter-related. On going through this dynamism, we come across various kinds of needs, their fulfillment or otherwise and resultant enlightenment. Abraham Maslow, in his need theory, sets in a sequence of human needs to be satisfied in the path of self-actualization. Although he has placed self-actualization at the pinnacle of the sequence triangle, he reiterates the process of actualization in each and every course of satisfaction. His need theory in effect emphasizes the process of actualization as the elevation modes for human development. The gradual fulfillments of basic, egoistic, intellectual and self realization are the steps for human development as depicted in his theory. Surmounting the grief of loss is one of the chief aspect of human development, which although is not directly dealt with in his theory. However, the methodology of actualization depicted in his theory underpins this aspect. Fulfillment of needs is the path of elevation whereas circumventing the grief situations is the path of challenge in human development. Actualization takes relatively longer time in the path of elevation; because, the possibility of non-fulfillment has to be adjudged by the self only in a remote sense. But in the challenging path the face-hitting failures and negations are met with immediately and furtherance is driven by a sense of confidence and acceptance, thereby actualization is relatively attained at a greater speed than through fulfillments. We shall discuss this aspect of surmounting grief of loss – especially the loss of human life – by analyzing Bowlby-West’s “ Impact of death on the family system”. I choose this paper, because it entails transformation and actualization in a grief situation. While grief arising out of loss of objects and materials however great the value may be could be faced with hope and self-confidence, the grief of death of beloved ones paves way for actualization through acceptance of reality.
Summary of the article:
The paper describes grief adjustments in a family set up. The author has found out two stages of bereavement which consists of four phases. By comparing Christian and Jewish cultural and ritual formalities that were adopted for reorganization from bereavement and related grief, the author enlists twelve homeostatic adjustments. Although the chief aim of rites is to embark on attrition of grief, some are found to reinforce. Some rituals when followed without realizing the inner conceptual essence also do not help the mourners to attain actualization. The author found out that isolation (p. 293) is the main hindrance in getting away from grief for any ‘ mostly grieved’ person. She felt that socio cultural way of facing the grief alone brings back the grieved to reorganization at a relatively faster manner. While comparing the Jewish, Judaism and Christianity, the author hints that the relative paucity of sensitivity to the phases of grief stands (p. 292) behind the sense of unfairness and an inner feeling of wrestling with ones own faith. Allowing gradual attrition of remembrance of the lost is suggested as the best course of paced recovery and reorganization. The author contends that actualization becomes possible only when one realizes self’s plight in relation to the death of the beloved.
Critical analysis of the paper:
The overall stress found in this paper is that a paced run of transformation and actualization is the healthy approach in human development. In most of the twelve homeostatic adjustments enlisted, the author reiterates that rituals-infested focus tending to bring many family members together would cause slow but steady attrition of grief sense. She also points out certain adjustments such as overprotective behavior isolates the family further from the community by way of freezing the communication. While explaining Maslow’s term of ‘ actualization’ as actualizing the inner potential, the mature self, the author had cited an example of a mourner who said the saying ‘ This too will pass’ amounts to kidding. We can not get to the author’s complete attempt in this. ‘ This too will pass’ is the dictum of seers who are capable of wielding this in times of over joy too. When this is considered to be confined only to a mourning situation, it will give a look of kidding oneself. The real lesson/instruction of this saying is, ‘ This moment is true; but do not stay here long. Come out before it becomes falsehood’. During the process of actualization one has to accept the truth encountered. The experiencing this acceptance is actualization. Thus a saying which chides stagnation could not be kidding in my view.
While comparing a few cultural practices, the author had elicited the Jewish practices of ‘ hallacha’, ‘ kriya’ and ‘ Shiva’ as the best suiting practices that cover the four stages of grief:
1. Numbness phase.
2. Yearning phase.
3. Despair phase and
4. Reorganization phase.
Although tearing and mending the clothes by the mourner during the period of ‘ Shiva’ were mere acts of rituals, the symbolic expression of external scar (p. 291) of internal wound could be realized only over a period of time. The author has prudently had pointed this out in the paper.
The well-planned distribution of mourning period in Judaism resembles the natural process of cooling off. Any kinds of pull or push or even block encountered during these periods of mourning are enjoined towards the acceptance of ultimate Truth. Experience of the Self in this trajectory is Actualization.
While talking about the sense of unfairness as the implication of Christian bereavement, the author felt less sensitivity to the phases of grief and the time required to reorganize. She had surmised this as the cause of internal tumult of fighting with ones own belief. In my view, the there is no fault in mass, service, sacrament of communion and the burial service at the grave. All these activities do not go astray from truth. I feel the ‘ theme of resurrection of the body’ is where people are tied unwontedly to the falsehood. To explain my view, I put the words of the author (p. 292) in verbatim:
The theme of acceptance of death, or belief that there is no death for the ‘ believer’ or ‘ true Christian’ carries the expectation that the mourner can quickly go into the acceptance – reorganization phase of grief.
Belief of non-existing is superstitious. Likewise not believing an existing phenomenon is also superstitious. Death is here. It can never be challenged. It is an ultimate truth. No one can deny it. Then, how there can be ‘ no death’ for a particular group of people, that too not all Christians but a selected batch of ‘ true Christian’. How can this be called a ‘ belief’? Truth, when presented as such will stand ever. Anything else painted as Truth in the name of belief has a natural trend of turning to its flipside of mistrust. It is this mistrust (internal) that leads to wrestling with belief.
The development of human race could be measured in terms of civilization. However, individual development of every human being is the building block of civilization. Man being a social animal, his life is purely interrelated with his environment and co beings. Formation of families, communities and societies are the feasible channels through which human race develops itself in terms of civilization. Optimism is a virtue. Some societies excel because of their cultural development. Circumventing failures is one of the chief endeavors in the path of human development. Facing death is the most challenging one. It comprises not only trying to ease the Self from the loss but also in accepting the universal Truth. Self actualization in every phase of human life could well be formulated if man churns his inner self and adopts civilized and humanistic methods in experiencing grief. Grief out of death of the beloved is the best tool to get practiced this actualization because Death still is the Leveler.
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Reference list –
Bowlby-West. L (1983) “ Impact of Death on the Family system” Journal of Family Therapy 5: 279-294
Jurgen Kriz (2006) “ Self-Actualization.” Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt

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