We come into human society as individuals, with unique personalities and attributes. Even when born as twins, we are all still different.
There are reasons for this; and it is for us to respect and honor these differences and boundaries. Even when and where we seek to be ‘one’ in social terms. In terms of community solidarity across different social spaces; our ethnicities, our countries, our continents, and other social groupings of political or other interest to us. Solidarity across any space can only be valid; if as an individual you ‘choose’ voluntarily to be a part of this. For this is the only way, you could possibly care about and then participate truthfully and fully in this respective venture with others.
However, from childhood as we grow, we only come to understand over time that we are indeed separate individuals and that this status is of particular importance regarding how we choose to engage with others around us, and with ourselves, first and foremost. An infant child thinks they are part of their mother or intimate carer in the beginning, because they intuit all of the child’s needs and feelings; whether this is desire to feed, to sleep, to be dry, etcetera. It is only at the age of eighteen months, that a child begins to understand that they are a separate being, from their mother, and others.
At a personal level, we have various ‘spaces’ as well; spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental or psychological.
The ‘external’ or non-personal spaces require some kind of shared kinship, for example, genetic or adopted relationships in order for one to qualify as one’s family member. The same with other social spaces; either the proximity of a shared physical or geographical space – or the sharing of a ‘conceptual’ space, say a students body, a political or professional social grouping. Therefore, allegiance with these ‘external’ groupings has to do with some kind of mutual interest likely to affect you as a member of that social group.
The personal space is very special here in that we voluntarily choose to let others share this space within us; we can choose to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at any one time. We can choose to let people in or out – at any point in time. We have the sovereignty of personal prerogative to do this. Hence, there can never be any genuine relationship or connection with anyone, of a personal nature, where coercion – by any means – is involved. A lot of coercion is employed, overtly or covertly, through unbalanced power relationships with authority figures – at home, in schools, religious, cultural and other social institutions and situations. Where there is threat to one’s personal safety or survival, when it is not possible for someone to safely and comfortably say, ‘no’; then any supposed ‘yes’ in this situation is indeed invalid and consequently untrue. Our ‘yes’ can only be true when we are genuinely free to openly express this. It is important for us to be fully aware of this; even while exposed to these, too often, frequent circumstances.
Therefore it is of specific importance for us as individuals to ‘mind’ our boundaries. To ensure that our personal connection with another is truly desired, at some deep level, within us and that this is reciprocated, honored and respected. For nothing less will do.