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Posts Tagged ‘Belonging’

Need to Belong

In Need to belong on November 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm

The other night during our blogtalk radio broadcast, we found ourselves discussing in depth the huge divide between the left and right-wing ideologies. After the show, our caller, Robi asked us to consider and weigh on a think first, feel later philosophy.

“We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter. “

I thought about what he said for a few days. Over the weekend, I actually had the opportunity to meet Cara IN PERSON (very exciting!), and the 6 hour drive to and from NYC gave me lots of thinking time.

Our society in general is completely fragmented; gone are the days of three television stations, now there are over 100.  Free agency has decimated hometown sports teams, so we can root for a team one season at best.  Families relocate with great frequency. As our respective worlds grow increasingly complicated, we try to find a rallying cry, a place of identity.

Enter a two-party political system. One of the few entities in our nation that offers primarily only two choices. In our quest to fulfill our hierarchy of needs, we latch onto one system or the other. I identified early in life with the liberal school of thought. I grew up on an organic vegetable farm,  my first job was a union one, and I’ve had lifelong churching, which focused on loving my fellow-man and giving to the poor. For me that adds to a liberal viewpoint.  I am a liberal, and I say that with absolute confidence.

The funny thing is, over the years, I realize my views are not 100% black and white. If I admit that too often it would erode the identity I’ve forged for myself. I would no longer feel that same sense of belonging.  I would have to do something like describe myself as a center-left moderate social libertarian & a non-interventionist and culturally liberal  and the quiz even said so.  Liberal is more concise and identifiable.

I am certain my conservative friends can explain just as easily why they are conservative and hold their views just as dearly as I do. The reasoning behind this is both psychological and spiritual. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs addressed the deep need to belong from a psychological perspective.  The Bible addresses our need to belong and have fellowship.

Our need to belong is what drives our adherence to our liberal or conservative values. It would be nice if we could expand our need to belong to “the USA” and “human race”, then we could really keep this dialogue going.

My question for our readers today, how do you define yourself? Conservative or liberal? Why do you define yourself as such and are you ready to define yourself in bigger parameters? Can we truly belong to this one big nation and humanity?

from Robi, a study that supports our adherence to strong beliefs: Study Demonstrates How We Support Our False Beliefs