Even as a high schooler, I envied the “band” who attended games, played concerts and were such a “tight” group. As an adult it’s been interesting connecting with those students I didn’t know in band forty years ago. It seems they are people, just like me!
I admit, I was surprised to hear from some of those in band who said, “They kind of kept us all together, so that ended up being the kids we formed our bonds with.” That makes sense really. I suspect that is often the case where teams are concerned. If you are in baseball, then it’s the baseball team who ends up being your best friends. ….or football, the debate team, cheerleaders or even student government. We are a people who stay close to like minded people.
Our adult lives are very much the same way. It seems when we are on opposite teams whether it be sports, financial status, faith matters or politics, the division can be so great there doesn’t seem to be any common ground. Friendships and families can even be split because of divisions of this nature.
Should it be this way? Why can’t we as a people agree to disagree when we don’t see eye to eye. It’s the differing of opinions that causes us to grow and bloom with new ideas and often form new opinions. The other person doesn’t have to be wrong and it doesn’t have to be nasty…..it’s just different!
We are a people who feel the need to be part of a group to feel like we belong. And we feel uncomfortable when we intermingle with groups of which we don’t belong. It seems relationships created in the “groups” are more special than those we have separately. It’s a little like family. There is an intimacy in families with shared secrets, unique nuances and “in-side information” that only the family or group knows.
Some would call this a clique, and perhaps it is, even if it isn’t deliberate. I will say in a heartbeat, “I hate cliques,” yet in the same breath tell you I enjoy being part of a group. So am I being a hypocrite? Perhaps, and yet I hadn’t even recognized it until this writing! Yet, if there is a group of artists that meets together to paint and discuss the particulars of this craft, I don’t feel left out. But I don’t paint and have no deep desire or need to learn so I don’t feel the need to belong in this group.
In truth, in real life, as adults we want to be part of a larger group, just as much as we did when we were young. It might be in our workplace, a college setting, in church and certainly we want to belong in our unique family settings.
So I challenge you to reflect on how you "belong." Are you part of a group with which you are comfortable (outside your family)? How would you feel about others joining your "group?" Is there someone you could include or would that be out of the question?