I am sitting right now at an RTX conference. You don’t know what that is? Well it is kind of like comic con— only for video games. You don’t know what comic con is? Well it is a convention where people who love comic books or characters come together and connect with one another, the writers, the dreamers, and designers. They meet the writers, the dreamers, and the designers. Think that sounds “nerdy” or “geeky”?
Think again. Look at your own social circles. Everyone has specific groups that tailor to their own passions and interests. Whatever the group is—be it an RTX conference, a church service, or a college football game—people connect with other people who have similar interests.
People want to fit in somewhere, and when they find people that have the same thing in common it generates energy and power. I am a firm believer that people’s biggest need is to feel accepted. Their biggest fear is rejection. This is evident in a number of ways. For example—What we post on social media. Most people will not post things that are offensive, or that pull them out of their social arena. Or how about how we dress? Maybe you love whitewash jeans, but most people will not wear them for fear of what someone may say about living in the 80s. We shape our lives to fit in with our social groups.
Sometimes when looking for groups to be involved in, we are so desperate to fit in that we settle, or we make compromises. Here is an example: According to the Los Angeles Police department kids join street gangs for the following reasons:
“Their motivations for joining the gang are varied, but usually fall within one of the following:
Identity or Recognition – Being part of a gang allows the gang member to achieve a level of status he/she feels impossible outside the gang culture.
Fellowship and Brotherhood – To the majority of gang members, the gang functions as an extension of the family and may provide companionship lacking in the gang member’s home environment. Many older brothers and relatives belong, or have belonged to the gang.”
For people involved in gangs, the desire to be accepted and to have camaraderie is so great that they’re willing to join a street gang for it. As adults we are not much different. We want friendship and connecting points. But sometimes we can’t find the right “gang” so we just spend our time at home alone. No man is an island to himself; we are not wired that way. Don’t live in isolation. Connect with others who have similar passions and interests. Join a “gang.”
What gang are you a part of?