We are custom-designed for sociability. We were made to live within a community. Each of us, I believe, is created with a certain capacity for virtue and our respective communities need what we have to offer. But like most things under stress, these social instincts can be tainted.
We may feel compelled to love our product (what we crave) and use people. This is bass-ackwards! We are created to thrive when we love people and utilize things to make the world a better place for everyone.
When our social instincts get too compulsive, our natural inclinations turn into obsessive compulsions. We don’t just want to belong, we want to run the group. We are no longer content to collaborate for the good of the group, we compete for resources. We gulp down the resources to feed our endless pit of need. This need may show up as financial, sexual, emotional or material. But however it manifests itself, it distorts our better selves and turns us into greedy gluttons for more more more.
This, obviously, has the opposite of our desired outcome. We sabotage our chances as the group grows weary of our cry for MORE. Intimacy is impossible and settling for merely being an acquaintance is unsatisfying at the deepest spiritual level.
If our desire for social connection is out of proportion with reality, we may make foolish choices. We may go to absurd lengths to feel accepted. But is this manipulation really satisfying? No, because it is manufactured. And too aggressive.
A healthy social instinct supports the reality that each of us is enough, and enough is good. Together, we build a community that supports and strengthens the whole. As we continue our quest for transformation, we develop not only the skills needed for resilience, our presence strengthens any community that we choose to join.