In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow published A Theory of Human Motivation, an article in which he argued that “the fundamental desires of human beings are similar despite the multitude of conscious desires”.
According to the theory, humans possess higher- and lower-order needs, which are arranged in a hierarchy. He argued that the natural course of human development begins at purely physiological needs, goes through a multitude of steps, and eventually ends up in “the desire to become the most that one can be”. The following image visualizes Maslow’s theory.
When I discussed this theory with Jorwin Velasquez, a 40-year old delivery driver living in Venezuela, he claimed that people dealing with the effects of hyperinflation often do not get the chance to grow above the level of Esteem, containing needs like respect, status, strength and freedom — let alone reach the level of Self-actualization.
“I am afraid our youth has lost the ability to dream. About 15 years ago I managed to buy a new car, which is the one I am currently still driving. It was a very happy moment for me, and I was able to afford it with a normal job.
Today, younger people do not even think about buying a car or a house. Their achievements and dreams are reduced to buying what is within reach, such as a cell phone or a laptop, and even that is hard to reach for some. The rest is simply unreachable.
It’s not that we don’t want to grow or develop — trust me, we do. The issue is that we are constantly hindered by the effects of hyperinflation, making us unable to reach the higher levels of the pyramid.
Take for example the fact that we do not have the financial capacity to deal with emergencies or illnesses. Since the cost of health insurance is so extremely high, it is no longer in common use. People in Venezuela have turned to GoFundMe campaigns in order to save themselves from illness.”
I asked Jorwin what effect the ability to save and transact in a stable currency would have for him, and whether the Reserve app has had any positive impact on his life.
“Reserve has finally allowed me to start saving again. Even though I can’t save that much at the moment, I have regained my ability to dream and my level of stress about any unfortunate event happening in the future is reduced. The only thing I regret is not having found it earlier!”