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Back to basics

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

In these difficult times, we often hear about the importance of getting back to basics. But how do you define "basics"? Basics for whom, for what, for when?

One person told me one day that, following a sudden realization, she decided to go on a trip. On the way to the airport, she stopped at home to pick up the essentials. For her, at that very moment, the basics were in a handbag. She took her ID, a credit card, her computer, a book and a few things that were important to her. She chose what she thought was basics to make this trip, given the time frame and the information available to her.

Going back to the basics means knowing what is basics for you. What do I need? What does this object bring me? Why is it so important to me? Asking these questions allows each person to become aware of what really matters, to discern the essential from the superfluous. The basics are defined as much in the materiality of the external world as in the immateriality of the internal world. Also, the singularity of the human being will be at the origin of the definition that he will give to the basics.

To define the basics, it is necessary to be conscious of the motivations at the origin of the exercise. In this period of confinment, everyone is led to review the organization of their daily life. In fact, each person, each group, each system, is rethinking its organization in order to maintain the so-called "basics" activities. In this sense, the basics are defined as what is necessary for one's own functioning and/or that of others. Basics for oneself, basics for others, basics for the system. In this context, the needs of Maslow's pyramid are revisited and newly contextualized. Past needs disappear and new needs are born.

The definition of basics also varies according to temporality. What was appreciated yesterday, may seem indispensable today and may seem useless in a few weeks. From this point of view, the notion of time is fundamental in the definition of what are basics. However, if the organization and the preparation of the future are an integral part of the functioning of our societies, they cannot replace the management of the present moment. So, here is a question for you, how would you define the basics for you, now?

To return to the essential in your daily lives is above all to return to the essential of your being and your soul. Knowing who you are, what you think and feel, and what values motivate your actions and decisions.

Getting back to the basics for us means getting back to the basics for our society and our humanity. To go back to basics for our values is to put values back at the center of humanity. To return to the essentials today is to prepare the construction of the essentials of tomorrow.

"By dint of sacrificing the essential to the urgent, we end up forgetting the urgency of the essential." Edgar Morin

I let you medidate on this quote.


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