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An Essay on Belonging Belonging is a natural reaction intrinsic We search in order to find a community a group of friends a country in which we belong America is a place whereWhen we feel uncomfortable we say I dont belong here and when you find a situation in which you are happy you can be yourself natural and free you feel as if it was created only for you It can also be the most wonderfully liberating experience when you find yourself in a culture in which you do not belong In not belonging you become someone free of restrictions free of the expectations free to creatively explore your imagination without the guilt that often latently lies behind the veiled threat of failure and disappointment In our own cultures where in a sense at least culturally linguistically and historically we do belong life often becomes a stifling world in which our lives are predestined packaged products We are consumers and we are resources to be used and abused in a cycle of production of consumption America is the ultimate machine the ultimate company and the by-product of its hyper capitalist model is the increasingly glaring loss of personal creativity and individualism within its borders We are expected to increase our spending power as we age not our understanding of other cultures not our compassion for each other or for those living on the other side of the economic spectrum The traveler if open to the possibility is in a perfect position to experience this transcendence The apparent fact of not belonging is open for everyone but its the course of action taken in light of this cultural segregation which should be the goal of the traveler today I had I realized become strangely accustomed to living in Korea even though a part of me desired to be back on the beach in
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