Today’s learning as I research belonging: the reason I couldn’t find a lot of literature online is because it’s been studied and written about almost exclusively in the academic realm. Turns out there are tons of e-books going back to the 90s at the library. There are philosophical and sociological theories about belonging, identity, and social relationship, but there are not accessible and practical applications of this knowledge in order to nurture belonging in our communities. There are lots of writings about belonging and very specific populations of people, like Jews and people who live in Africa; far less about belonging as a human need and how to fulfill that need for all.
I am interested in a real world approach to belonging because I want to figure out how we can create belonging spaces to alleviate the loneliness and isolation that is literally killing us in unknown numbers. I want to learn how to create belonging for both residents and refugees in local communities because climate change is only going to increase the refugee crisis all over the planet and we have to learn how to live together. I am compelled to figure out belonging because I know it has a role in our national politics and why people voted for DT (they want to belong to his world) and why many don’t feel like they belong with the Democrats or in the two-party system (which impacted why DT was elected).
I believe meeting the human need of belonging is an important piece to the puzzle of what comes next in our evolution. I believe we need to return to community based lives, both for our physical survival as the earth changes and for our mental-emotional health. I believe we need to start working on we-development in tandem with our self-development.
I plan to share what I learn as I research this book and figure out how to adapt in person community building techniques to online communities so that whether I am published or not, I can contribute to shifting our collective attention from the narrow focus on individuals, self empowerment, and independence to an expanded focus on self in relationship, community empowerment, and interdependence.