Even as simple as rooting for "my team" versus the "other team" that I want to lose.
Or, my political party to win the elections versus the other that I want gone.
Or, if only I was passionate about my single issue!
Maybe I should rename the blog title to "A rebel without a cause."
When I was younger, I had such affiliations. The cricket team. The commies. Even the Trojans! Now, it has been years without tribal affiliations and, thus, forever I am in a party of one. There is no "us" and "we." Because, unlike with the rules of tribal behaviors, I don't have to prevent myself from expressing a dissenting thought. And when that is expressed, well, I become branded as one of "them."
The older I get, the more suspicious I am of being in a herd. I can now see a lot more than mere humor in Groucho Marx's response, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." Membership comes with more than privileges, yes, but it also seems to intentionally breed a us-versus-them.
This essay, which often has material at levels that are simply way above my paygrade, begins with a verse by Rudyard Kipling. A verse that I am able to understand, appreciate, and agree with too:
All good people agree,How do writers like Kipling manage to string together a few words that then get across some awesome stuff? I wish I were like "them" ;)
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And everyone else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!