#2016 / Belonging

In our “Belonging video” we asked people – men, women, and children to share their thoughts and feelings with us.

What does BELONGING mean to you?

Why do you believe BELONGING is important in our world?

How can you demonstrate more BELONGING in your family and community?

NOW Media Campaigns would like to give a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all the amazing human beings who shared their message and story around the meaning of ‘Belonging’. Your courage and generosity of spirit will indeed continue to be valued and esteemed by all who watch this ‘Belonging’ video. Bravo!

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THE VALUE OF NURTURING COMMUNITY – Hugh Mackay 2014

Humans are designed as social beings for together we enhance our survival and enjoyment of life. Whilst the recent era of “rampant individualism” in Western culture may seem at odds with the importance of community, fortunately the social orientation of human beings is undeniable.

This important place of social connectedness within our “cultural DNA” is a central tenet In Hugh Mackay’s newest book “The Art of Belonging”. The renowned sociologist and educator Mackay writes about the importance of nurturing community, of embracing diversity and of creating somewhere for everyone to belong.

He points out that a communal life beyond the four walls of our own separate households keeps us in contact with people who are unlike us and this keeps alive human values such as compassion, patience, and kindness.

Although there is some variety in the amount of community participation and engagement people will seek and a minority who prefer hermit-like living conditions, Mackay highlights that most of us though, want to ‘strike a balance between our individual and our social nature’ and want to be able to be part of a “functioning community” whilst also ‘pleasing ourselves’.

Mackay asserts that in community “we are writing each others’ stories [who are we?] as much as we are writing our own [who am I?] and that being connected to community life can create a better story for all.

What BELONGING means to me…

As part of this campaign I was asked what belonging means to me, firstly it created a blank page in my mind and my being. I had to ask myself, “When do you feel like you truly belong, Elizabeth.” And to be absolutely honest it hasn’t been very often. You see my creative nature causes me to be a bit of a risk taker by normal standards.

I’m not outrageous by any means, but I have been known to push the status quo a little. The interesting insight though, is that I want to, my heart wants to belong… more than anything else in life. Because my nature as a human being is to be in relationship, we are just hard wired that way. For that is what ensures the survival of our species, but of course I also don’t want to lose my creative individuality along the way.

So, belonging for me means being able to express my true nature, my creativity, and my life with others who care about my wellbeing, respect my gifts and value my presence.

And above all… to feel connected, simply or profoundly.

That’s what belonging means to me.

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Elizabeth Ellames – Chairperson NOW Leadership Inc.

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