Identity Nd Belonging
Our sense of identity can never be constant
Identity and belonging are inter-related; they go like peas in a pod. The groups we choose to belong to and the ways we connect with others help to form our own identity. Together, these issues go to the heart of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. One human quality that we all share, despite our individual identities, is the need to belong. It is a paradox that we long to be free, to be who we truly are and yet we yearn to belong to some kind of community. There is no real obligation to belong to one group, you can belong to many, that is, an individual is not bound or obliged to belong to one group, they can belong to many which can create multiple identities for the
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These choices reveal many things about us. Part of our identity is formed from our connections with the people we choose to belong to and build close relationships with. Often, we develop friendships with those who are most like us in outlook and temperament, thus confirming our own understanding of who we are. A desire to belong is also a desire to connect to other people. When exploring the issues of identity, many young people emphasize the importance of friendship. As Milan Kundera wrote in one of his novels, “Friends are our mirror; our memory; we ask nothing of them, but they polish the mirror from time to time so we can look at ourselves in it.” Friends and peers help to form aspects of our identity such as our personality and provide the building blocks for our sense of belonging for many of us. The larger our social network, the more fluctuating our identity becomes. They motivate us to do certain things to act a certain way and not only affect our mental identity but also our physical identity as well, like how you look and how you dress. Experiences of belonging are not the same for everyone. For migrants or refugees who leave their homeland, a sense of belonging may be difficult to achieve in a new country. As teenagers our identity and sense of belonging can be challenged by peer pressure. We may not have a strong sense of who we are and where we belong and might be easily swayed by others with stronger personalities.