The Positives and Negatives of Belonging and Not Belonging Essay

423 Words2 Pages
Essay: The idea of belonging is an important and fundamental value in our lives. Belonging most commonly emerges from experience and awareness of identity, relationships, acceptance and understanding. Exploring the positives and negatives helps us to understand the complexity of our human need to belong. The need to ‘fit in’, to belong with others is common to all humanity, crossing all geographical and cultural boundaries. As the ancient Greek philosopher suggested “the impulse to form partnership of this kind is present in all men by nature”. Acceptance within a community generates a sense of ‘us’ as a distinct group, different from ‘others’ who exist outside. Communal membership is empowering at both the personal and collaborative level, “I” becoming stronger because of the added security and reassurance of being part of “we” and “us”. The connectedness to each other or group or place helps nurture self-esteem and confidence within us. A sense of belonging can be temporary. Levels of acceptance can vary as individuals move from one stage of their life to another. This can generate insecurity and cause a group to which a person belonged to cease and create isolation. Circumstances can enforce involuntary obedience to a group ideology or behaviour. This unwilling compliance can cause many moral dilemmas. Mob mentality can often be dangerous. When placed with a moral dilemma to leave the group or belong to it a sense of entrapment can be forced upon an individual to stay with a particular group. “All types of identities, ethnic, national, religious, sexual or whatever else can become your prison after a while. The identity that you stand up for can enslave you and close you to the rest of the world.” Quote from Murathan Mungan Not belonging to a certain group allows space for complete and utter individuality. No commitment to a group, family or community leaves

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