All but a true hermit belongs to a group.
Most people have the need or desire to feel wanted, to be around like-minded people, to have a sense of belonging. Typically, our groups contain like-minded people…how often do you see a staunch atheist laughing over a beer with a fundamentalist Christian? So whether the group is just a significant other, friends, acquaintances, religious groups, or even nations, there has to be some common ground, although the smaller the group, the more there is in common.
Obviously this benefits us both individually and collectively. Look how much more gets done when we “work together.”
But what about when it doesn’t? What if your significant other demeans your dreams? What if your group is a collection of high school dropouts, and you have the realization you’d like to get a college degree? What about your religious or spiritual group that aligned with your thoughts and beliefs until it demanded that you only think what you are told to think, and believe only what you are told to believe? Or a government that not only molds your thoughts with political correctness, but regulates what you must and must not do with your body or what you put in it?
ARE YOU LIVING YOUR LIFE, OR SOMEONE ELSE’S?
I’m not advocating anarchy here, but have you ever thought of how much your group influences your thinking, and stepped back for a moment to look at it? Have you ever looked at your own values, beliefs and purposes, and evaluated your groups to see if they still align?
YOU MIGHT FIND THIS AN INTERESTING EXERCISE.