It just so happens that the earth is shaped like a sphere, roundish but with depth. It is a wonderful form, filled with metaphorical meanings. You read about the seven spheres of life, the nine spheres of heaven (planets), four spheres of well being, i.e. Emotional, Physical, Social, and Financial. The cynic in me makes me wonder if the numbers are arbitrary.
We form relationships in social spheres or circles. Say you are an immigrant in a society where you know no one, it seems you are like a dot in a sea of white paper. But take a closer look and you begin to see patterns of spheres be they social, cultural, ethnic or religious. You guy you went to school with but weren't really close now becomes your buddy. The friends you make in church check on you like they are family. You speak pidgin english more often, relishing the opportunity to share the alternate lingua franca with fellow naturals. You actually go on the the internet to find radio programs in your native dialect, something you never did before. You are actively seeking spheres to fit in with.
Soon enough , you are absorbed into one of the spheres and you no longer feel alone. They say "you've settled down". You get a home, buy a car, get a job, find a lover, join a group of friends, not necessarily in that order.You fit in. That is what most new comers want isn't it? Well, sometimes it does not happen. What do you do then?
You build a bigger sphere. You draw a circle that is bigger than you. You look beyond your needs and find the needs of others to meet.
One of the culture shocks I experienced with western countries is the epidemic of homelessness. How does it happen that a man or woman has a dog and some luggage but lack a roof over there heads, in there own native country? Do they not have siblings, cousins, parents, children? How does a fruit fall so far away from the seed? And yes, I'm seeing this phenomenon in african countries too. I see this as a failure in sphere building in our societies.
What can you do about it? Start with your community. Donate, volunteer, agitate, preferably in that order. Some people have fallen through the cracks of our various venn diagrams. They don't belong to nobody and nobody belongs to them. Instead of fretting only about your place in the society draw a bigger circle that includes the excluded.
The earth is not a perfect circle but we can add depth to our society by our actions. Let's build a bigger sphere for humanity.