As defined by Wikipedia:
“Belongingness is the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, a religion, or something else, people tend to have an ‘inherent’ desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give and receive attention to and from others.
Belonging is a strong and inevitable feeling that exists in human nature. To belong or not to belong can occur due to choices of one’s self, or the choices of others. Not everyone has the same life and interests, hence not everyone belongs to the same thing or person. Without belonging, one cannot identify themselves as clearly, thus having difficulties communicating with and relating to their surroundings.”
People connect in many different ways, with visual symbols being an immediate identifier. Family Crests historically identified one easily, whether on a Shield, a Wax Crest to seal important documents, a Pendant or a Ring, to name a few methods used.
Other images serve as well for bonding a group together. I had the unique pleasure of being part of such a unifying gathering a couple of years ago at my Mother In Law’s 95th Birthday gathering. Relatives came from near and far (we traveled 1500 miles to attend) to reunite with known relatives and meet new ones. There was one common memory shared by the “Primaries” in the family and that was the Family Home in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This home is where the Sullivan Children were raised and where their children knew and loved throughout their childhood. The home was called Five Fences because of the five different fences around the property and the address marker was unique. Sadly, the property was eventually sold after the Passing of the Parents. A Scrapbook was created of the last gathering, with an image of the Address Sign.
Searching for just the right and unique gift, we decided to make a Family Charm using the Address Sign. One for Mom and Sister, and one each for their Children. We kept it a secret. Waiting for the Right Time, Nick chose a family cocktail gathering prior to the Birthday Dinner. First one to his Mom, then to her Sister. After the Delight and Surprise and Tears subsided, he then presented the remaining Charms to all their Children. Tears swirled around at receiving one of the Charms that united the entire family. I was almost immediately told by one of the guests that he had never seen such a sweeping of emotion in a room as when each Family Member got their Charm.
No one there will forget this experience or the feelings ignited that day.
THIS is the Power of Belongingness.
So while the current social emphasis is on “Experiences” rather than a tangible trinket, it is important to remember that Families need to be connected and have Memories that they can see, feel, hold or wear to reawaken that feeling and those memories.
Do YOU have such an image you would like made into a Charm for a Pendant or a Key Chain for an Upcoming Family Reunion? Please use the Contact Form below to visit with us about the possibilities!!