To be a part of a group or community or have other human acceptance or membership in some form.
The sense of belonging is a basic need and at the same time the answer to a question:
We ask ourselves: What am I part of?
And this question resembles (perhaps coincides with) another equally crucial question: Who am I?
We belong to a family, a group, a society, a professional category; and such affiliations define
us and give us reasons for existing.
Without this belonging, we would feel like nothing. It is hard, maybe impossible, to know who we are without some reference to others. That is why the sense of belonging is a basic need, like the need for food, water, or a roof over our heads.
We may hear ourselves object, “You have to learn to stand alone, be independent!”
And yet the urge to belong comes first. The extraordinary intensity of this need probably comes from our ancestral past, when the only way to stay alive was to be part of a group. No one could manage alone.
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