The concepts of longing and belonging are inseparable. Indeed, how does the individual sense of self as belonging in the world assert itself when it is continually revisited through society’s demands that changes in politics or economy, advances in technology and media, and so on, be adapted to one’s perception and definition of oneself and one’s group? This constant reinterpretation, obliging one to conform to new norms, blurs the individual view, thus creating a perpetually dissatisfied yearning. For many, such a longing for personal clarity is complicated by an oft-discouraged natural attraction and acceptance of the differences found in oneself as well as others. Communities’ standardized requirements can strip away both one’s uniqueness and tolerance of others’exceptionality. . . . 

Brigitte Le Juez

Dublin, Ireland

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