“Love, belonging and connection are the universal sources of true well-being” – Unknown
I decided to write a bonus blog today. A blog that has nothing to do with weightless or gardening. Well maybe it does, but the topic that is pulling on my heart today is belonging.
Growing up I didn’t have a lot of friends and I really didn’t have a lot of cousins my age. I wasn’t a lonely child, but I liked to be alone. I think that was because I grew up as an only child. My mother didn’t have my sister until I was fourteen. By then I was a teenager and pretty much set in the ways of who I would become. Let me clarify.
I was involved in orchestra, made straight A’s, participated in several clubs, and just had a core group of friends that I still have today. I hung out with kids who had good grades. I hung out with kids who knew they were going to college. I hung out with kids who had plans. I guess you could call us nerds. I call us very successful people who “made it.”
While attending a graduation party someone stated “You are who you hang around. If you hang around six broke people you will be the seventh.” That rings so true on so many levels. That rings true for children as well as adults, but I don’t think people evaluate who they hang around. The question is why?
I believe it’s because they simply want to belong. They want to belong somewhere. If they stop hanging around those six broke people who can they hang around? I think in general people would rather hang around six broke people instead of being alone. I like to think that I’m smart enough that I would have hung around different people if I found the wrong crowd by mistake but that’s a lie. My friends did not drink or smoke so currently I don’t drink or smoke. My friends didn’t try drugs or party, so I have never tried drugs and I the word party is never associated with me. If any one of us had decided to drink, smoke or try drugs I can’t say that all of us would not have followed. We were kids, and kids do what other kids do.
Let me clarify, I am not judging those who drink or smoke. I am just pointing out that if those things were not around you its highly unlikely that you would partake in them.
Without going all the way down the rabbit hole this is the point. When you see people reach out. Reach out and just have a conversation. You don’t know who’s life you can change by having that conversation. I am an African American woman in a highly white male dominated industry. I talk to people all the time because I don’t know who’s perspective I might change. A conversation with me might convince someone that all Black people are not thugs or all women can work and maintain a family. You would be surprised at how many people I meet with those views. Yes its 2021.
Your conversation might stop a child from joining a gang, and yes I consider white supremacy groups gangs. Your conversation might convince a child to go to college, you might convince someone to join the military or help a humanitarian effort. You might be the catalyst that helps someone feel like they belong to something larger than themselves.
True conversation that I’ve had with my oldest. I explained “This world is about connections. You made connections that have led you to purchase stocks. Others might make connections on who can get them a key of cocaine at a cheaper price. God has just placed you in a different place with different connections.”
Don’t ever dismiss a connection. Don’t ever dismiss the opportunity to help a person find a sense of belonging. Please understand it’s those little moments that will not only change the lives of others, but will change your life as well. We all have an obligation to help someone belong. You just need to reach that individual before someone with ill intentions does. How are you going to help someone feel like they belong today?