I just downloaded the new book by Sebastian Hunger, "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging," which examines the impact of brotherhood and belonging. A key element in Junger's thesis is that the power of the relationships formed, especially in military situations, create this amazing bonds. Yet, when soldiers muster out of the military, and are separated from their "brothers," there can be a deep and difficult void.
This book has me thinking about the notion of passages in our lives, and how these junctures cause 2 strong reactions. That is, when we find ourselves leaving any known experience, and moving on to a new experience, there can be major voids we have to face. They also cause us be in situations where we have to form new relationships. Think about it.
Graduation from high school, and moving on to college - taking a new job in a new city - leaving the military for civilian life - retiring from work - all of these are major passages that many of us have faced, or may face in our lives. And these situations will test us, not just in leaving a known experience, but in causing us to forge new relationships.
The bottom line however, is that we all need to belong - to be part of a tribe - to be a acknowledged, accepted, and appreciated. And none of us are exempt.
Passages test us, but building social capital in the new experience is key to belonging, and most of the time new tribes can take us to better places.