As a millennial trying to make a difference and get involved in Rhode Island, it can be a difficult task to break from peer expectations; to stay in on the weekends, to choose more satisfying pursuits than the easily-accessed and ever-alluring hedonistic lifestyle glorified in popular media. But if one begins to assess the opportunity cost of night-after-night of episodic binge-partying, whatever your preference is, the time that we spend not pursuing long-term fulfilling pursuits can quickly become staggering.
Please don’t misinterpret this letter as a diatribe against going out. There are many instances when going out can lead to some pretty awesome things-supporting a cause through a fundraiser, participating in public discourse, or otherwise getting civically engaged-to name a few. Rather, I propose a more thoughtful approach to the way we exert our significant consumption habits, pursuing long-term happiness over short-term pleasures.
The psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs outlines five fundamental innate human desires and the priority in which humans seek them. The Hierarchy begins with the physiological (food, water, air), then safety (shelter, law, freedom from fear), then social (friendship, intimacy), then esteem (achievement, mastery, self-respect), and finally self-actualization (realizing person potential, self-fulfillment). It could be argued that a majority of those people who have the means to go out and purchase alcohol at bar prices, have, at least temporarily, sated their physiological, safety, and social needs.
I implore those who find themselves in the relatively rare and comfortable socioeconomic situation which allows for the pursuit of esteem, and subsequently self-actualization, to do that! There are many ways to begin a process toward self-actualization, but one of the easiest ways I know how, is to get involved, and get organized.
Rhode Island is privileged to have more advocacy, non-profit, and human-oriented endeavors per capita than most other places in the world. Groups such as the Millennial Professional Group of Rhode Island, the Providence Student Union, and the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats are actively working to make our state a better place for all who live here.
In creating the Collective Conscience event series, it is my hope to partner excellent causes with up-and-coming electronic musicians to raise awareness for both, and, just maybe, get some people to think about getting involved who otherwise might not.
On May 22, at 9:00 p.m. at Aurora (276 Westminster Street), we will host Collective Conscience, which will bring together those three organizations along with four talented electronic musicians; Kuh Lida (https://soundcloud.com/kuhlida), Julia (https://soundcloud.com/juliajuliajuliajuliajulia/sets/julia/s-WnKFk), Tokyo Megaplex (https://soundcloud.com/tokyomegaplex), and Rhythm and Stealth (http://rhythmstealth.com/)
Our goal is to raise awareness and some funds, as there will be a $5 cover, for three causes, thereby empowering civic engagement.
Michael Beauregard is Producer of the Collective Conscience event series Friday, May 22, 9:00 p.m. at Aurora (276 Westminster St), and Principal of PA Advisors, a Providence, RI-based consulting firm.