“Belonging grows from understanding and acceptance”
Understanding and acceptance are the building blocks for a good relationship, and Relationships are essential to finding a true sense of belonging. This sense of belonging can grow from the connections made with people, places and the larger world. It is these connections that influence where we search for meaning in our lives and ultimately, where we belong. Without understanding and accepting these connections, can you ever truly belong? The biography “Romulus My Father” and the short story “Up Taree Way” show how belonging is often deeply connected to place and for both Romulus and Millie there is an obvious dislocation from this place. For instance Romulus is a Romanian living in the unfamiliar landscape of Australia whilst Milly from Up Taree Way is an Aboriginal child living in the unfamiliar landscape of Sydney city. In both of these texts, Romulus and Milly eventually understand that no matter how long they live in their new environments they will always belong to their culture and in turn accept the values of where they originally came from. It is obvious that throughout both texts understanding and acceptance has strengthened the characters relationships with their friends, family and the larger world to which they belong. As much as understanding can increase ones sense of belonging, lack of understanding can decrease it. I mean how easy is it to misunderstand someone these days? For example after Niel Symon, an aboriginal story teller, comes to Milly’s school and shares his knowledge and experiences with them they begin to understand his culture and appreciate it. After this, Millie admitted to her school friends that Neil was her uncle, learning that when she stopped trying to belong she realised she, in fact always did belong. This is because her friends were always interested and impressed by her childhood stories and did not act any differently towards her when they found out that it was...
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