As the Income Explosion drives whole populations up Maslow's hierarchy, cultures will begin, with values, customs, norms and institutions, etc., to emphasize matters of esteem, personal development and self actualization. The progression up the hierarchy, however, does not suggest a cultural hegemony. If anything, we see a growing cultural fragmentation and re-coalescence into new, Information Age cultural perspectives.
The cultural differentiation, itself, is exemplified by the struggle to define exactly what is meant by self-actualization. It seems that people universally see it as something good, but precisely what it is appears elusive. Below are a few of the many statements made about the self-actualized person. .]
So, for our purposes we define self-actualization as the process of creating life experiences and circumstances that are proper expressions of one’s unique manifestation of human potential rather than those dictated by necessity or the expectations of others. Such a definition properly frees us from the categorical statements so frequently made with regard to self-actualization.
Rather, depending upon the character, interests, culture and moral values of an individual, varying combinations of the previous traits may or may not define self actualization for that person. This places a large measare of responsibility, even within clearly defined cultural communities, upon the individual to create a personally relevant definition. So, from a purely practical perspective, a methodology for determining what self-actualization means for each individual is required.
From this is derived the concept of modality vehicles. For example, a job can, at a minimum, provide a vehicle for the expression of Intellectual, Productive, Social, Status and Creative modalities. An avocation could fulfill nearly any combination of modalities. Time spent with family can, depending upon the activity, also can provide a vehicle for nearly nearly limitless combinations of modalities. Consequently, we consider these activities as opportunities to experience, in varying measures, several modalities.
As a profoundly affluent Knowledge Class emerges, its members will begin to focus more directly upon how to craft a life that provides them with their unique expression of modality distribution. Those with a strong productive need will emphasize productive activities. Those with a strong intellectual need will spend more time learning and discussing.
It is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of proper associations in the Information Age. These will come in at least two varieties. The first is a personal network. The second is membership in enabling and facilitative organizations. They both take work, though the first is more a sweat equity and the second is generally a moderate monetary expenditure. Lastly, while self-promotion was important in the Industrial Age, it will be even more important in the Information Age.