Tag Archives: Thoughts

To Be and Belong

I went to church last sunday with the family. Growing up the whole family went EVERY sunday. However, sometime during college I lost my religious drive, if it ever really was there. I went to church rarely: usually only for the big holidays. Despite my wayward wanderings away from the religious life, I joined my parents. To be honest I zoned out for the majority of the service, letting my muscle memory take me through the motions. At some point during the homily I tuned back just in time to hear the priest say, “…the challenge is to be and belong.” How appropriate, I thought. That is exactly what I am looking to do in my life. I want to be me, but belong in the world after college. But doing so is like walking on a tight-rope. If you want to belong too badly, you stand a good chance of losing your individuality and becoming more like the crowd. If you go to far into individuality you stand the chance of excluding yourself or of becoming selfish. How do you find balance in this?

The priest went on to council the congregation on the dangers of being sucked into a selfish individualism: or, the individualism that rejects the help and insight of others, the excluding type of individuality. Instead, he asked that we as people hoping to craft and find an individual self look not only into ourselves, but into the community that surrounds us. The art of being an individual is to be an individual in a way that allows you to be yourself while also belonging to that community that shapes you and in which you exist. To be and belong as he put it so aptly. I guess that is my next goal: to find a way to do this in my search for gradification.

As I said I am not a church goer. But, I guess wisdom will find its way to you when you least expect it. I don’t think this has revitalized any religious drive in me. It has just reaffirmed that I am more a believer of this dogma:

Thoughts that occurred to me
Not of the usual kind
And I don’t take it granted no
I don’t call them mine
I don’t call them mine
‘Cause in my life things
Are built on

Constant surprises
Coming my way
Some call it coincidence
But I like to call it fate

– “Constant Surprises”, Little Dragon


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