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On Belonging Belonging is important for our growth to independence even further it is important for our growth to inner freedom and maturity It is only through belonging that we can break out of the shell of individualism and self-centredness that both protects and isolates us However the human drive for belonging also has its pitfalls There is an innate need in our hearts to identify with a group both for protection and for security to discover and affirm our identity and to use the group to prove our worthiness and goodness indeed even to prove that we are better than others It is my belief that it is not religion or culture at the root of human conflict but the way in which groups use religion or culture to dominate one another Let me hasten to add that if it were not religion or culture that people use as a stick with which to beat others they would just use something else Are human beings basically evil The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre maintained that love is only one persons freedom eating up anothers freedom Are we all called to live and die in conflict Do all our generous acts merely conceal the need to be superior to others Sartre leads me to my main point What is the need to belong Is it only a way to deal with personal insecurity sharing in the sense of identity that a group provides Or is this sense of belonging an important part of everyones journey to freedom Is the sense of belonging akin to the earth itself a nurturing medium that allows plants and trees to grow and to share their flowers and fruits with all A group is the manifestation of this need to belong A group can however close in on itself believing that it is superior to others But my vision is that belonging should be at the
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