Belong: (v) to fit in a specified place or environment.
Shortly after my arrival, I was told that I belonged to a family.
I was also informed that this collection of people was supposed to be supreme in my mind, and I should defer to them in all cases.
It didn’t take long before I was required to belong to a school.
- We had a mascot.
- We had teams.
- We had jerseys.
- Our school was better than your school. At least, purported.
I also belonged to a church. It was not the only church in town, but in many ways, I was instructed that it was the only church in town. To belong to this institution, I had to believe in their ideas, doctrines which granted them a sense of importance, uniqueness and preference.
My genealogy told me that I was of German descent. So apparently, I belonged in the white race, the offspring of Germanic tribes. That seemed to carry some significance which I never totally fathomed.
I met a woman. Actually, I met several women. But I had to pick one so we could belong together. Picking more than one was considered scandalous.
I graduated from school and was told I needed to belong to a corporation and have a job. I found that limiting and tried to launch out on my own, only to be scolded for failing to belong to the good working folk of America.
It did not take long to realize that other people belonged to different things than I belonged to, and because of that, it would be impossible for us to achieve high levels of interaction or fellowship.
It seemed to me that belonging was just a well-organized way of clumping–and once clumped, a certain amount of defensiveness was necessary in order to maintain the integrity of our particular heap.
I grew weary of such foolishness.
I belong to the human race.
I am not in the mood to join any other faction.