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user-inactivated  ·  1434 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm a _____ (fill in the blank)

Outsider, which is a kind way of saying "other."

All my life the things that make me wake up in the morning are looked down upon by the rest of 'normal' society. Video games, D&D, Metal, math, computers, astronomy all end up in the same linguistical space: nerd. Back in the day when we walked uphill both ways in 20" of snow and 115°F being the nerdy dorky bookworm was not a good place to be. That idea of being outside of the room looking in is something I've never been able to shake, even though now the tides have turned and the rest of the world is standing outside the house looking at the party indoors.

The good thing about growing up this way is that you forge your own sense of self. It forces to you dig down and really understand who and what you are so that you can defend you identity, revel in it even. Which leads me to something you said that needs to be addressed.

    I'm getting tired of all the hurt that the need for "belonging" is causing in the world. It's a real shame.

Belonging is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it necessarily a bad thing. The problem is when people get so wrapped up in the group that they insulate themselves from the outside influences of the world and radicalize themselves. Put on that team jersey and go to a bar on the day of a game and you are instantly part of the family. Go to your church and you have instant access to a community of people that have at least that one thing in common. As human animals, we need social groups to function; the challenge is how do we build the groups and fight the divisions that come with them.

And if anyone has an answer to that question I'd love to hear it.