So, everybody has this habit. We pretty much do everything that we do to seek this particular concept. It sounds pretty small, but in the broad scheme of things, it is actually pretty huge. The concept is finding a place to belong. To find a place in the scheme of things that you are able to fit into, and that you are comfortable being a part of. Like I said, it sounds simple enough, but the truth is that this concept is pretty huge. It is the biggest concept of them all, in my opinion. The ability to make money, the seeking of a career, they all are truly a part of this concept. In fact, I would venture a guess that all things that people do are a part of this concept.
Belonging is defined as being accepted as a natural member or part of a group, tribe, family, etc. Like I said, it sounds simple enough. But think about it- how simple is it? For some people, there is nothing in this life more complicated. There are vast pieces of literature from various psychologists, philosophers, novelists, pretty much every sect of society, because it affects every sect of society.
In the world of careers and business, one’s need to belong actually does have a price. If one is completely out of place at a job, they are usually singled out, and that can lead to some pretty serious problems in their career paths. Those who don’t belong, but are able to get out of the limelight are the lucky ones, but not everybody has that benefit. Being picked on is something that happens in all walks of life. In the world of careers, finding a place to belong is more akin to finding a social or occupational circle that you fit into. For most people, this just means finding a job that you are able to do well at, and not being too out-of-place.
In the world of family, this concept can be kind of complicated. For me, family has never really mattered all that much. The bulk of my family are people that I will see maybe two or three more times for the rest of my life once I have left Alaska. I keep being told that family is something that you just care about because of the fact that they are family. I hate to break it to you, but for me, that isn’t the truth. There are several family members that I have met maybe six times in my whole life, and I will probably never see them again. I just don’t care all that much, and I have no compelling reason to.
Plus, in the construct of family life, it is considered often a necessity to belong to follow the usual family paths- ie. having kids, getting married, etc. I see no reason to do any of those things. It is part of my general belief that I will never really belong in any particular group, but I’ll get to that later. People just think that there is something wrong with you if you don’t want those things. For real, I have met a ton of people who think that having kids and getting married is just the best thing. Those people seem kind of small-minded to me.
Another aspect, especially here in America, is the need for religion to belong. I have a reader of my blog who has commented on all the good things that the belief of God has gotten him. I won’t lie, I don’t get it. I personally think that people who need a completely absent character to be watching over them to feel like they are somehow worthwhile, or that their life means something, are people who are afraid of things that they can’t understand. Religion is a concept that, in my opinion, was partly invented as a means of not feeling so alone in the context of the very large universe.
The sad fact is that everybody does pretty much everything that they can do in order to find a place in the world that they can fit in to. It isn’t the strange, when you think about it. The need for community is nothing new. The nice thing about the advent of the internet is that people are able to find those who are of the same mind and way of being as they are. For instance- via my blog, I am able to connect with fellow atheists and those who are into politics. It is a nice time to be alive in that regard.
But there is one area of belonging that people don’t think about- romantically. With the war against homosexuality still going on, people who are in love with those of the same gender are treated like monsters or degenerates in some sects of society. And then there are those who just need to feel like they belong by being in a relationship. I know somebody who recently had that problem. She eventually realized how bad it was for her, but that doesn’t mean that the loss of it didn’t hurt her. I have another friend who I think needs the same thing. Her relationship is bad for her, but she won’t think about it, because thinking about the fact that she is hurting because of it doesn’t give her what she is looking for.
The simple fact is that the need to belong drives people to do whatever they can to fit into a group. Often, this leads to people betraying their sense of self in order to believe that they have a place to exist. Myself, I don’t think that I have any place to belong in this world. Sure, it sucks, but there are worse things. Sometimes, there are those who are just meant to be in that place, destined to fade away into dust. Sure, I can write well, but honestly, I just get bored with all the groups. I am not like anybody in my age group.
To be honest, I belong in a different world. In a world where people just want to do right by one-another. But I’m not part of that world. I doubt that I ever will be. Good people end up alone, seeking a place to belong. In the end, all it does is break you down.
Until next time, a quote,
“You’re not normal, House, you have never been. You’re a guy who lives on the fringe somewhere. Hell, I’m your best friend, and half the time I don’t understand you.” -James Wilson, House