Members Only

People thrive on being in a “select” crowd. The notion that I am different, I am exceptional is an unfailing selling point every vendor uses because every consumer walks in a store longing to be different.  You see it from the women who join Sororities who love to snub their noses at those who are from a different sect or even those who opted not to pledge. They are members of a select group and they are going to wave the “you can’t sit with us” banner unless you’ve either rcvd an invitation to be a donor, a speaker and/or a contributor to their cause.

Fraternities do the same thing as well as professional groups.  Actually, it’s hard to not find a place where a “Members Only” organization does not exist. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy, an American psychologist well known for his interest and findings with human developmental psychology, looking to belong to a group or having a sense of acceptance among their peers and/or social groups is the third need of humans. Maslow indicated that is even the reason why children cling to abusive parents as this need can even override the need of safety.

Recent Isis attacks also displays the extent one will go to in order to feel accepted. It’s more than an emotional trend or an act of heartlessness. It is an individual attempting to feel connected.  With the holiday season upon us and many people running to their families to feel connected, the members only strikes a chord. For there are some individuals who are excluded from a group, from shelter, from a society that might inflict pain on an individual based on the biases they have. They will wrap their “membership” as a privilege and a license to look down on those less fortunate.

Christians are often categorized as unkind people though they’re advertisement states, you should recognize them by their love. Muslims are portrayed as extremists and a violent people though their religion is predicated on peace. Jewish people are often labeled as greedy and stingy yet, they are identified as the Hebrews; God’s people. Each group, though accomplishing their personal need of acceptance, overlooked the collective need. By demonstrating behaviors that alienated individuals incapacitated to meet their first two needs that are

1. Physiological needs – air, water, food, shelter, and clothing are just a few

2. Safety Needs- personal security, financial security, health and well-being …

But, like the children that still cling to their parents in abusive environments, the need to belong will override the first two needs in the children who live in adult bodies. The behaviors that exclude compassion even though God sent His child to die for the world are justified in the thinking of being accepted. Compromising the principles of Faith by extinguishing one's hope through exclusivity actually undermines the need embedded in us to belong. Removing a piece of hope and expecting one to still stand is like playing Jenga; you don't know when all the pieces will fall down.  

Luckily,  Faith is not subjected to a membership organized by men. It's a Divine partnership designed to remind you of your one true Ride and Die. Faith is there to encourage you to move forward knowing you already belong to a Divine force. You are accepted as you are. For those crazy days when others try to deprive you of that fact, repeat to yourself, "Today I'm WTF (Winning Through Faith)."