Longing to belong

The pursuit of individual attainment is the hallmark of our time, eclipsing the collective dimension of human destiny. And yet the deep human need to be part of a group has yet to disappear. It lingers, but without a credible outlet. National projects ring hollow, and the so-called international community remains an abstraction. This unfulfilled desire for community may be felt particularly acutely by young people – including, for example, young jihadists. Indeed, nationalist politicians and religious leaders have been the first to spot the vacuum, and they are rapidly filling it. [LInk]

As far as diagnosis goes, this is spot on, in my view. But, as you go down to the suggestions made to get out of this, it gets thinner. No blame on the author, however. We, as human beings, are not equipped to come up with answers to complex problems. Certain things evolve on their own and we find ourselves stumped for answers in dealing with consequences. Technological progress, atomised societies and more are challenging our abilities to cope. There are no easy answers. We will be tossed around by the wave and carried by it, to the eventual destination, whatever that might be.


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