It is interesting to try to understand what motivates people, especially those with a high public profile.
In what follows I have tried to imagine what motivates some well known people.
Obviously the motivations that I have ascribed to those people are no more than my opinion.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Abraham Maslow proposed a
hierarchy of needs
that is very relevant here. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have fulfilled the lower level needs can consider aims beyond the basics of surviving and living.
The primary motivation of many of the world's people, who are malnourished, are unable to feed their children or have nowhere safe and comfortable to live, is hardly more than simply surviving.
Even in the relatively wealthy West, many people have to work at several jobs just to 'make ends meet'.
But for everyone, especially perhaps those of us who have the luxury of being economically secure, the question arrises of how should we live our lives? What should we aim at? Should we
simply look after ourselves or should we look beyond ourselves?
- Fred Hollows, eye surgeon
- Devoted the later part of his life to
ending unnecessary blindness.
- Dalai Lama (14th Dalai Lama, religious name: Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhamo Thondup), Tibetan Buddhist leader and moral philosopher
- Tenzin Gyatso has written and made public statements encouraging people to be
- Peter Singer, philosopher
- A desire to understand the world of Man and to communicate his findings to others; trying to show people how they can do good; animal rights campaigner.
- David Attenborough, broadcaster and natural historian
- David has produced documentaries informing people about the natural world for decades, and he tirelessly warns everyone about the dangers that come from not looking after our environment.
- Tim Flannery, environmentalist
- A life long interest in environmental matters and the communication of his concerns to others and to try to get action on protecting our shared environment
- Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest; billionaire, philanthropist
- "In 2013, Forrest and his wife, Nicola, were the first Australians to pledge the majority of their wealth to charity in their lifetimes."
(He has been accused of avoiding paying company tax.)
It seems to me that, at least in recent years, he is enjoying trying to do good deeds.
- Angus Taylor, Australia's Energy Minister
- Ambition? Greed? Protecting the fossil fuel industry because it supports the Liberal Party?
- Andrew Bolt, shock-jock
- Pleasing his boss, Rupert Murdoch, and thereby keeping his highly paid job. Writing anything controversial, irrespective of its validity, that will please his right-wing climate science denying, anti-renewable-energy, readership.
How credible is Andrew Bolt?.)
- Alan Jones, shock-jock
- Notoriety, conceit, narcissism, maintaining a high profile position in the public's eye, greed.
Pandering to his right-wing audience.
Aland Jones on wind power and climate change.)
- Clive Palmer, billionaire
- Using his wealth (largely gained from coal mining) to make himself famous, at the same time as making more money
- Gina Rinehart, riches person in Australia
- Simple and insatiable greed.
(Should she decide to do good she could, for example, give $5000 to each of a million people and still be the richest person in Australia. I write this, not to suggest that it is the best thing that she could do, but to try to give an indication of how much good she could do if she wanted to.)
What motivates people to vote for a green party?
What motivates people to
What motivates people to
plant trees on public land
I'd argue that in all these cases it is mainly a desire to be altruistic; to make the world a better place, to help other people, to improve our shared environment.