Stuck in the middle with you
The fear of not belonging is a pretty freaky-strong psychological phenomena for us humans. In days gone by, social isolation could mean the difference between literal life and death. But, while your community isn’t likely to cast you out to starve in the wilderness for not being socially accepted, the idea of not belonging can still feel like a certain kind of death. No thanks.
Perhaps you’re all too familiar with the uncomfortable sensation of feeling like an outcast caught in the middle of polarized shouting of opinions. It might happen when watching the news, when scrolling through social media or at that one happy hour when intelligent, well-meaning friends take a political conversation just a little too far over beer.
But, while it might feel like you’re all alone in this middle ground, the reality is that less than 37% of members of political parties actually feel warmly about their own party. Those living in the political fringe are true rarities, although they can be pretty darn vocal. The rest of us? We’re stranded in the middle alongside you feeling alone, but in reality, not alone at all.
As Black Sheep ourselves (by company name and by personal calling), we want more people to understand what it means to truly belong. And belonging together is not about agreeing 100% of the time. We live in a world of nuanced opinion and, instead of shaking our fist at our differences, we actively seek out the beauty in those nuances.
Sure, we might not have identical opinions on literally everything (mushrooms on pizza, best ’90s hip hop artist, presidents, etc.), but that is exactly what makes each of us interesting and worth talking to. There’s some damn good company in the middle, just saying.
As Brene Brown says: “True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
Your unique voice and your personal conviction is powerful, even though ours might sound a little different than yours. Use your spot in the center to enable you to passionately activate around the things that matter most. As you stand up for what you believe in, don’t forget to look right next to you in that quiet lonely middle. We’re right there, ready to link arms and step forward with you.
What are we doing here? As an agency whose work revolves around organizations who affect change in the world, Black Sheep is investigating what it means to be an activist in 2019. This post on activism is a part of something bigger and you are too. Read on and join us as we #AgitateActivateAffect.