There are costs to the individual in belonging to a group.
In the modern world, there are obstacles to maintaining personal independence. Exposure to conflicting values can weaken a person's sense of self. The way in which a person matures is influenced by the actions of others.
Does belonging always mean compromise?
If you don't belong does that necessarily mean that you're isolated? We only ever belong because we believe we do.
How do we know who we are?
You can't expect others to understand you, if you don't understand yourself.
We must break away from the past in order to embrace the future. We should not feel threatened by those who are different.
As we journey through life, identity and belonging must be constantly renegotiated.
The first group we belong to, the family, has more influence than any other group on forming our identity. In what ways might people be damaged by the families and groups of which they are a part? Physical appearance and body image contribute significantly to an individual's sense of self. We cannot achieve a strong sense of identity unless we also have a strong sense of belonging to something outside ourselves. Sometimes our sense of identity is stifled by the groups to which we belong. It is sometimes hard to know what other people are really like under their masks. The groups we reject shows us who we are just as much as the groups we choose to join. Cultural barriers can prevent people from really accepting each other. Wearing a mask can sometimes protect a fragile sense of self. Our siblings knows us better than anyone else.
People without groups to belong to can be vulnerable in many ways. To what extent is your life shaped by your relationships with the people who are important to you?
Identity is the idea of "self" that is developed along the path of a living thing. Animals have identities too. That's how they recognise and interact with one another. This identity is so strongly attached to you that you cannot imagine you are someone else unless you are a trained actor. Belonging is all about your comfort zone. You feel comfortable where you are accepted as a member, and that define your comfort zones in life. You may venture out of where you belong but at the end of the day you would like to be back to where you belong.
Why belonging so important ?
A natural need of a human being is to belong to another and to a community. Belonging to your community is far more important than people realise. Without that we can be tempted into isolation. The community can be your family and friends sharing similar interests, or your church group, or your self help group. Some of the those interests can be doing voluntary work for charitable and benevolent projects, or hobbies and sports. The learning community is another powerful area involvement. Even if your community is not a church group, belonging to a community is another form of spirituality.
Question ask people?
What is the stronger influence on ones sense of self-identity - country or culture? Where and what is home? Is it the place in which you were born, raised and live, or is it a space that gives you a feeling of belonging? What happens when the two are different?
These questions rise to the surface at some point for most people who have a culture in their blood that is different to the country in which they reside, which applies to many people living in multicultural Australia. “People from non English speaking backgrounds, both those born overseas as well
I myself, during my teenage years, found it very embrassed to maintain my ‘normal self’ while trying to fit in with others and find a place around my situation where I felt I could belong. However, it was only after careful think of this ‘problem’ that I realised a balance between individual identity and belonging is not so hard to find if you belong to a group that accepts you for whom you are.