Earlier this summer I finished my final project in my English program and an interesting element of the reading I did included the 3 or 4 ways (depending on how you look at it) that people are able to temper/mitigate the stresses in their lives.
BELONGING is one of them.
We all knew that right? I mean Maslow blah blah blah needs blah blah blah hierarchy blah blah blah blah blah.
But did we ever really THINK about how our ACTIONS translate into creating a culture or environment conducive to enhancing someone else’s experience of BELONGING?
Families have traditions for it – wedding showers, engagement parties, weddings themselves, and then later baptisms and baby showers and birthday parties and whatnot.
Religions do but whether they enhance the belonging or exacerbate the separateness is up for debate (gee you had your first live snake handling … do you “belong” to those nut job snake handlers or are you separate from the rest of us? Or are we separate from you? And O BTW WHERE THE F is the snake NOW?!?!? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!) If you’re interested in learning more about that aspect of belonging, I advocate reading AJ Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically. And yes, I can live with the fact that he went to Brown … because HE isn’t the Brown student who tried to hack the IRS’s website this week and sent out a bajillion spam phishing emails to state university students all over the country (which BTW, reporting to both the IRS & to Brown University was useless … thus it’s on my blog).
So go forth. Make people belong. Belong to someone. To something. To yourself. To the world. And don’t forget at the end of the day – no matter who has let you down – you’ll always belong to the dog. Because she doesn’t have thumbs & you do. Now go open the fridge and make some noms appear before you belong to the barked-at-guild-of-America.