The Human Need to Feel Needed (What the ECQ Pass reactions may reveal)

The Human Need to Feel Needed (What the ECQ Pass reactions may reveal)

May 06, 2020

It’s our Day 50 in this unprecedent ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) era and it’s interesting to observe how each one of us is reacting. For today’s article I will focus on reactions to the ECQ Pass.

The general rule is to give the ECQ pass only to selected citizens, allowing them to be exempted from the “stay at home” rule so they can do essential activities.

Because of this, we were all forced to categorize our work. Is your job essential or non-essential? Do you deserve the work pass? It might have been alright at the start when we were still trying to absorb the shock of this new normal imposed on us, but as the days, weeks, and months pass, things become more challenging. I observe that there is a subliminal anger, revolt, onset of cabin fever, the need to be free, and confusion going on in the minds of people who are not granted that “essential job” category.

On top of this, there is also an organized move among the senior citizens complaining about their exclusion from the list of those to be given quarantine pass after May 15, 2020. I’m sure you’ve seen that viber message going around saying, “We are 60 + years old…requesting for quarantine pass to move around in pursuit of our business…” followed by a listing of their complete names, and I must say the lists I’ve seen consist of very notable names, kinda the movers and shakers of our society who voluntarily revealed their age in order to get the pass. 🙂

I do not wish to make any judgment on people requesting for the pass. Admittedly, it is important for some people to be able to get out of their homes for various reasons. I just thought it’s possible that this whole scenario of uncertainty and stress might have triggered something subliminal with regard to the precious quarantine pass.

I theorize that selective issuance of quarantine pass may have triggered the human need to feel needed. (Share this on Twitter)

Someone telling you that your job is not essential (therefore, no pass) may take out a bit of the pride and meaning in your work, if not downright insult you.

Someone telling you that you’re too old and fragile to go out may make you feel like a has-been, consequently insulting you that you  want to remind them, “Hey, 60 is the new…whatever, depending on how many decades you want to shave off from your senior age!”

Seeing this data naturally makes regulators limit the movement of senior citizens. Graph taken from

So, what was originally intended as protection measures may be misconstrued as, “So my work is not essential?” or “So you think I’m too old and don’t have any important business going out?”

We all need to feel needed because feeling so makes us feel our importance. If we’re not needed, then we sort of lose our purpose and motivation in life.

Here’s what I suggest.

For those who are not given a pass on the basis of their work, please don’t equate that to the importance of your work. Understand that this just means that the regulators think that you can do your important work in the comforts of your home. (Share this on Twitter)

For the senior citizens, please understand that we know your roles in your respective organizations. Needless to say, we acknowledge your importance in our society. Unfortunately, data shows that your age group is the most susceptible to Covid-19. (Share this on Twitter)

Our Value

So, is it possible that while people used to equate their value to how much money they have, they may now also equate it to whether they have a quarantine pass or not? 🙂 Here’s the thing about our value. It’s difficult to measure it with purely quantifiable tools – such as money and/or quarantine pass. Our value is more a function of how much we are fulfilling our purpose in life. Although money and quarantine pass may give a sneak peak of our “value,” the real value of our precious life lies in our ability to fulfill our mission in life. I always love to share these graph and diagram in my talks to make this point.

Left: This is my paraphrase from Frederich Beuchner’s “God calls us to a place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger.” Right: This is the wonderful Japanese philosophy of our Ikigai, a more detailed illustration of that point of intersection where we will see our real value and point of success.

One thing’s for sure, we all need to feel needed. So, let’s really know our intersection, our ikigai and work joyfully at it. If we do, we won’t need that much money or a quarantine pass to feel that we are worthy individuals who all have important roles to play in our society. (Share this on Twitter)



1. Listen to our Mom and Son Podcast episode this week! Click here.

2. Reading is another coping mechanism for the lockdown. If you haven’t yet, may I invite you to read any of the FQ Mom books?

Read FQ Mom books here:

3. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to start your FQ journey. If you’ve taken this six or so months ago and you want to check how you have improved, you may take it again by clicking the link:

Attributions: Photos from and modified and used to help deliver the message of the article.