Belonging

April 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm (Uncategorized)

So, I read an interesting post on Slate today about getting married young. Here it is if you’d like to check it out: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/04/i_married_young_what_are_the_rest_of_you_waiting_for.single.html

I myself am neither pro nor anti getting married young, but it does speak to a culture that wants us to pick sides in so many conflicts that aren’t really conflicts. We should just be getting married (or not) whenever it’s right for US. I’m not on a timetable, I want to get married when I meet someone worth marrying. Whether that’s in a year or 20 is largely irrelevant. I think it’s high time that we stop expecting people to be something and just let them be themselves. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s worth moving towards.

I think at the end of the day arguments like this speak to our basic need to belong–to groups, to a society, to a religion–we want to be valued and recognized. I know I constantly long to be accepted and loved–it’s why we get excited when we see facebook invitations, why people like to be invited to go out even when both parties know that the invitee has a conflict, and why random compliments can make your entire day brighter (inversely, one negative comment can weigh longer than it should).

I think a lot about this topic every time I’m in Moscow for several reasons. First is that the town and university and just generally incredibly welcoming. That attitude rubs off on most people. Add in the fact that many of my best friends live in a very small geographic region (read: Moscow) and I never feel quite so valued as when I’m up there visiting.

I think we should make an effort to make the people in our life know their value…it really doesn’t take much. A smile, or a kind word. We all want to feel a part of something, and at the end of the day we are all tied through our shared humanity. Maybe we can all grow together, as part of something larger than ourselves. If/When I get married someday, I will share life with that person, and we will be each others’ belonging. For today though (and always–because it’s fun to spread the joy) I see no reason why I can’t try to give others in my life a reason to feel good about themselves.

 

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