5.3 Social Groups

5.3 Social Groups

In my younger days all my friends and buddies from the neighborhood

would come and hang out at my house. Although I was glad at

the time, I never understood why. Now, looking back, I can see that my

mother created a social, friendly environment for children who wanted

to come over and be part of the family. Everyone would partake of deep

discussions, all the while being mindful that the individuals involved

were much more important than other small details in life, including

time, possessions, and monetary issues. In her own way, my mom helped

recreate the small, hunter-gatherer social environment and that drew the

neighborhood kids like a magnet. We all subconsciously long for this

comfortable social environment.

In recent times, Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogging have taken

over so powerfully and quickly because they promote the social activities

that all of us long for. We tend to use them as modern substitutes for the

small social gro

ups that we, as humans, continue to crave.

One survival technique built into our DNA is to propagate our genes

by shared social activities. These social activities—back tens of thousands

of years ago—were important for gathering food, protecting our off spring,

protecting ourselves, caring for each other and, ultimately, perpetuating

the species by raising healthy children. Just look around and you can

see this very powerful innate drive at work today. Teenagers want to be

“part of the group” with their rebellious music, hair, tattoos, clothes, etc.

Passion that comes with team spectator sports also gives us a taste of group

intimacy. Festiva

ls, parties, concerts, and social gatherings are modern

examples of trying to be part of a group that protects and nurtures us.

Unfortunately when we use modern substitutes (such as electronics) to

fi ll the longing and desires to be part of a group, unintended side eff ects

occur, such as

stress, cyber bullying, depression, and loss of self-esteem.

Social Activities 115

To be healthy human beings, we must kindle and nurture our n

eed to

have a group to belong to.  (From Your Body: Instructions for use by Dr. Haas, Instruction 5.3)

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