Survival, Belonging, and the Queensland Flood Crisis

queensland flood

Choice Theory teaches us that we are motivated by our quality world pictures.  Our quality world is dynamic, with pictures being continually re-arranged. Think of a file cabinet. Every file we have is important, but sometimes we put a certain file in front so it gets our attention. The same applies to our quality world pictures. They are all important because they help us satisfy our needs. At times, however, certain pictures are put at the front of our file, getting most of our attention.

I have been in Australia for the past week, primarily in Queensland. Seventy-five percent of the state has been declared a disaster area because of the devastating floods. Fortunately, things seem to be improving, although it will take months, if not years, for things to return to normal.

As I have watched hours of coverage of the Queensland floods, it is clear that in times of crisis, the pictures that assume prominence are the ones that relate to survival and belonging. I have seen countless people interviewed – people who have lost their business, their homes, their cherished possessions. Despite these losses, virtually all of them express gratitude that they and their loved ones are safe. It’s not that these people don’t have pictures related to power, freedom, and fun. They do.

But in times like this, the most basic of the basic needs seem to be survival and belonging. As long as people are safe and have those they love with them, over time they will find ways to satisfy their other needs. In the short term, however, it is enough that they are safe and have each other.