The Act of Belonging

Painting by Ruby Swinney

The readiness to belong is ingrained in us. It is natural for us to belong to a particular caste, community, religion. In office we belong to a particular group of colleagues. In college we belong to a certain group of our peers. In a group we chat, gossip, indulge in some form of entertainment together. One is not expected to act individually. One has to follow the group. It is sacrilegious to act outside of the group. If you do you do not belong to the group anymore. You will be treated like an outsider. You will be chided for betraying the group.

It is a wonderful feeling to have a sense of belonging to some group. It is very convenient. This itself is a somewhat narrow concept. Why remain confined in a particular group when you can embrace new people and new ideas. Why should we allow ourselves to be dictated upon by the members of a group. We are all free to choose whom we want to stay with and form a bond with. The act of belonging should not be so overpowering as to maraud our individual wishes. The act of belonging should not be so strong that it wipes away our courage not to belong and keeps us perpetually in fear of the consequences of not belonging.

14 thoughts on “The Act of Belonging

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