Longing for Belonging [April 22 2016]
I define belonging as elements that you feel a gravitational force pulling you towards. Such elements include family, people, language, land, place, plants, animals and, even, work.
Forever sedentaries have a better chance, but no guarantees, to find those elements coming together nicely in a single geographical location. But some people have felt a force pulling them away from their geographical home/land/family in a quest to find some of those missing elements. “World travelers”,as some call them, might have a hard time when the inevitable questioning arises: where do I belong?
Ironically, that same craving for belonging might have driven, intentional or not, that desire to travel. And the travel/relocation offers a unique perspective and opportunity to discover things about oneself, connect dots and discover new ideas. But it also, paradoxically, requires giving up some of the elements that define a sense of belonging (namely: land, place, family and, sometimes, language).
That process has played an instrumental role in my discovery of some fundamental wrongs of our culture and some of the uncomfortable illusions we entertain in regards to the solutions for a good future. That process has accelerated my discovery of what makes me and how I want to play a role in this connected world.
So, where do I belong? Who do I belong with? I don’t know. To complicate things further, the answer might be different for the members of my immediate family. As “world travelers”, we’re faced with the possibility that most logical option might involve choosing a compromise.
Or maybe spending some more time searching and finding what constitutes the true essence of our belonging will expose new and fuller alternatives.