A Sense of Belonging

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It’s Monday night you’re rushing out of Wal-Mart with some last minute things you need for the rest of the week.  As you drive out, there’s a homeless man in his tattered jeans and well-worn jacket standing there asking for money.  What do you do? Do you pretend that you don’t see him? Do you stop and give him the couple of cents that you had as change from the store? Do you just think “oh he got himself into that situation’? Do you just drive by and not give it any thought? Have you ever stopped to think what it’s like to be homeless? To be freezing in the cold and never having enough to eat.  And also emotionally.   To be an outcast, to not have anywhere to go, to not belong, to not have a purpose, to be looked down upon. You don’t even have to be homeless to feel like this. Just being the outsider always watching from a distance.  You’re never really a part of something and instead you’re just there.

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One of things that we strive for is for a home. Even the word hobo stands for home bound.  (home bound) It might not be a physical house but it is somewhere where you belong.  A place where you are welcome with open arms. Isn’t this what we all need? Belonging is the one thing we all strive for.  If you belonged somewhere what would you have to worry about?  One of the major reasons people commit suicide or are just overall depressed is because they feel like they don’t have a place in the world.  They feel like they aren’t a part of anything and that no one cares.  The point is  they feel like they don’t belong. People commit suicide do to unhappiness and as the above quote states, “belonging is primal fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being”.

An fictional parallel example of someone just wanting belonging is King Oedipus.  (If you would like more information about him click here) After exiling himself, he wandered around without end for years and years.  Everywhere he went, people shunned him for what he did.  They did not want to associate themselves with him and many refused to give him help even though during the time being generous to your guess was of utmost importance.  Near the end of his life, all he wanted was a place where he belonged.  He wanted a home where someone welcomed him with open arms. This was the one thing that he wanted before he died.  Thinking about this,  I wonder how many people die with this as their last ungranted wish. In life, you constantly ask “Where do I Belong”… what if you never got the answer to your question.   Just think about how awful it would be to die and to leave this world without belonging anywhere.  Your sense of purpose and the impact that you left on this world would be in question.

Anyways, I’m going to leave you with the quote  from the book Perks of Being a Wall Flower (a very short and easy book i recommend everyone read). I really love this quote but I’m not going to explain how I feel about it.  Instead, I just want you to think how it makes you feel.

“I don’t even remember the season. I just remember walking between them and feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere.”

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