The Need to Belong

It Seems That We As Human Beings Have
An Insatiable Desire To Belong To Something
Bigger Than Ourselves.

Both little girls and little boys alike seem to announce their pick of a best friend as soon as they are launched into their first social situation. Girl and Boy Scouts, dance troupes, choirs, martial arts, drama, and every sport imaginable all offer a child a place to belong. As we get older, neither the desire nor the groups diminish. Book clubs, supper clubs, bars, and country clubs are on the menu to meet this need in us as adults. We long to belong, to attach our names to another. The need and feeling of belonging to another runs deep within the core of our being.

Consider marriage, for instance. It is designed to be a perfect place where two separate, unique individuals come together to become one, and from that oneness each entity is enhanced, and new life is formed. It is then replicated again and again into what is called a family. But it wasn’t just marriage that was created to demonstrate and orchestrate a sense of belonging and oneness. Families and friendships were also designed to provide us with that same experience.

I am Jenny, am the oldest daughter of four children, a single entity. But I belong to a family. Though now married, I was born a “Thornton.” That one word in my family meant that we were resilient, independent, Christian, confident, loud, athletic, and hard working. When we are together as a family that longing to belong is appeased, at least for a time.

Friendship is another profound way I personally have experienced oneness that creates a sense of belonging. The friends I have chosen in this life have also become family and fulfill the need of belonging to another. Regularly we share our hearts and burdens with each other. We serve, love and encourage each other. We sup with each other and give to each other—in other words, we share our lives! These people encourage me to be and do all I was created to be and do. Without them I could not be me. They give me courage to pursue a life of purpose. They give me the courage to be me. What do you need to be you?