The tree of concerns

I want to present here my analogy of “tree of concerns”. We all know that a tree is made up of three main parts: its roots, its trunk and its branches.

What took us a long time to discover is that the volume of the roots is similar to that of its branches. Thereby, A tree has a double crown: one above and visible and one underground and hidden.

    Needs versus concerns

    Our concerns are closely linked to our needs. In fact, if we consider Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs, its author explains that we he does not care to try to satisfy a need of a higher level if his needs of a lower level are not met. This translates as follows: it is more urgent to breathe than to drink, to drink than to eat and to feel safe than to achieve…

    For this reason, it seems that the gradation of concerns presents itself differently from that of needs. So, for example, our most immediate need, that of breathing, except in extraordinary circumstances, does not concern us at all.

    A need, understood as lack or lack, is something passive, while worry is proactive., get ready for action. Worry is literally a preoccupation, that is, a preparation to attend to satisfying a need or solving a problem.

    Worry is distinguished from need by its anticipatory nature. We cannot be hungry because we have just eaten but worry about what we are going to eat tomorrow despite the physiological need to eat covered.

      Logic and chronology

      Maslow’s pyramid is established on a logical basis: the fact that some needs are more necessary than others. But the tree of concerns can also be understood from a chronological or evolutionary point of view. The first thing you see of the tree is its aerial crown which represents the conditions for the enjoyment of life:.

      The baby is anxious to surpass himself at every moment, he is in pure self-realization in search of new body movements every day (turning, sitting, crawling, etc.), sounds. The concern of the baby is his self-realization while his basic needs do not concern him at all, he is in the immediacy, he is responsible for showing up for assistance when he needs something, but he does not anticipate nothing. It is the parents or caregivers who take care of preparing the food, the clothes… The baby only cares about self-improvement as his other needs are covered.

      As children, we continue to worry about playing and satisfying our needs for movement and curiosity.

      Later in adolescence we care about relationships with friends who bring us affiliation and recognition.

      With the end of childhood ends a golden age of carelessness and enjoyment. And finally, We are aware that our terms of use (what makes life worth living), rest on roots hitherto hidden from view: the conditions of possibility of the life we ​​live.

      Adulthood is when you start taking care of yourself worrying about things that have to do with these conditions of possibility in our lifepay the rent, feed, house and pay… When we say that children are deprived of their childhood, it is generally because they have to worry about their basic safety and/or their physiological needs in the absence of an adult who assumes this responsibility.

        How far do the roots go…?

        Even in adulthood, many people tend to worry only about things that affect them, while delegating more distant concerns to others. For example, we usually care about filling up the car’s tank before we run out of fuel, but we don’t care whether oil is a non-renewable, increasingly unavailable, or polluting resource.

        We care about filling the fridge with food, but not that thousands of hectares of arable land are lost every year to erosion from modern intensive agriculture. We care about getting our kids to school on time, but not about the usefulness of the curriculum. We care about paying our bills, but not the economy of the country we live in. We take the drugs that are prescribed to us without worrying about the profit interests behind the health policies.

        We buy consumer goods without worrying about the sustainability of our way of life. In all these cases, we understand that taking care of them is the task of people who assume this responsibility and whom we consider competent.

          When not worrying is not an option

          When people start worrying about the possible conditions of their existence, for example: climate change, the need to save energy, the possibility of war, or because those in charge are incompetent, there is a awareness and an often painful awareness maturing process. We may feel helpless when we discover these new concernsa little as if the tree of metaphor had spread its roots to discover that the conditions of possibility of our life rest on realities which are not as firm as one believed.

          For some of these fundamental concerns, they will cease to be by distraction or entertainment. For others, awareness can lead to anxiety, eco-anxiety or angst and require real and profound but immediately impossible practical changes in lifestyle, for ensure the ability to meet needs in a sustainable way. To govern your life is to plan and act so that we do not miss anything essential, it is to worry in the good sense of the term.

          In conclusion

          If you feel worried about the threat of drastic changes in your life, your worries may be legitimate and deserve to be heard and taken into account. It can be difficult to share some concerns, even in therapy, but I encourage you to do so in order to find a solution.

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