Birds of a Feather

It was quite an impressive sight. Sitting in the middle of a completely still pond outside of Lincoln, Nebraska was a massive goose, specifically of the Snow variety. From what I understand, exponential numbers of them migrate through the area around this time of the year. This one, however, was alone. I wondered where his friends were. It got me to thinking about that whole “birds of a feather flock together” idea.

We all have a need to belong. We want some sense of connection to the world around us. This, of course, is why we see a “clumpage” effect evident in sororities, clubs, gangs and teens, in general. We somehow feel safer knowing we are not alone. Ah, but therein lies the problem for some individuals. Often time, a person’s behavior is the roadblock for the very thing they crave the most – acceptance.
In order to feel accepted we have to be vulnerable. We have to be open to letting our guard down and making connections with others. For many, this is not difficult to do. However, when some individuals take a risk and get rejected, they put up walls and don’t allow others in. The more they are rejected, the higher the bricks of the walls get stacked.

You have heard the adage; the individuals who push us away are often the very ones who need us the most – and personally, I can think of several people [at all ages] in my life who put up walls. When I remember this, I find I approach those individuals with a little more patience and understanding. Of course, every single interaction I have with them contributes to a brick going up or coming down. I sure hope my interactions do the latter and foster that sense of belonging we all crave. I feel certain the Snow Geese have the right idea.