“Your duty is to scream those truths that one should shout but are merely whispered.” –Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Sometimes in the pursuit for lessons from my past, I discover that a single event has been a gradual time-released dose of medicine for my soul. At various points on my life’s journey, I garner just enough truth and nourishment from that experience to guide me forward to yet another morsel of healing and personal growth. As a lover of words, I’m not lost on the miracle that one such experience took place in an unassuming bookstore.
Are you familiar with the term “military brat?” This term generally refers to someone who grew up in a family where the parents served in the armed forces. My father served in the Air Force which makes me a military brat and I say that with pride. Though the word “brat” usually carries a negative connotation in the civilian world, those of us who grew up “on base” know that we belong to a resilient and diverse subculture of individuals bonded by common experience and mutual understanding of what it all means.
“We all belong here equally…Just by being born onto the earth we are accepted and the earth supports us. We don’t have to be especially good. We don’t have to accomplish anything. We don’t even have to be healthy.” – Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures
Remember the anticipation of your first day of school?
Parents and teachers offered encouragement and reassurance by cheerfully
talking about all the opportunities to make new friends. Did you ever move to a
different neighborhood or change jobs? I imagine that questions of finding
welcoming neighbors or fitting in with your new colleagues crossed your mind
during your transition. These thoughts are likely due to the fact that human
beings have a psychological need for love and belonging. In humanistic
psychology, the human need for belonging aligns with our inclinations as social
creatures. Our emotional relationships are driven by our connections among our
family, as well as social and community groups. And sometimes, we have the
fortune of being a bystander to the fulfillment of this need of belonging and
the nurturing of the soul…
In a bright and colorful classroom, several toddlers busily
moved about from toy to toy with their watchful mothers following close behind
to insure safety and protection. Some mothers were able to sit and chat
together, still watchful, as their little sons and daughters found activities
that kept them in one place for longer than a moment or two. At Stepping
Stones, parents, mostly stay-at-home moms, enjoyed the opportunity to be alongside
their children in a structured setting while they learned to socialize, play,
and follow their curiosities. It was a space of beginnings and hope.