I have recently been introduced to Jean Vanier and have begun listening to some lectures he has given (which can be found on YouTube). I am delighted to hear his incredible wisdom, particularly on the subject of Belonging and the need to be connected to others. This matches the thoughts I've been having recently on relationship, some of which I wrote about in The Fight for Unification (see left hand side).
These are some of the things he has said.
"We are in a world where, in some countries, each person is seen as important, and that is a great progress in humanity, the value of the human person."
"There was a time when what was important was the group, but now there is a consciousness that each person has rights...that each person is precious."
"But on the other hand, as we have brought up the individual, we're losing a sense of belonging and the need to build something together; to be bonded together in mutual affection and love."
"And you'll find there is a tension, between belonging and inner freedom, as we can see belonging as giving security and stifling the person, but we can also see that by accentuating the person, and not accentuating the element of belonging, there can be a lot of anguish ... and loneliness, and feeling of being lost."