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The other day while scrolling through FaceBook; Yes, I am of that generation … not Instagram or Pinterest … FaceBook. I came across a picture of a bulb of garlic with a clementine wedge inserted where a single clove had been removed. Below, was the following caption …
My initial response was, “That makes sense, find where you belong!” Okay as a Coach a part of me agrees, life’s search is to be part of something and feel a sense of belonging. So yeah, find where you belong made sense. However, something kept poking at me as the clementine wedge fit perfectly into the open space. Yes, the resulting picture showed something different, and at the same time it showed something whole. Is that not what being a part of, and belonging is about, being whole? It begged the question, “Why does the clementine not belong?”
A clove of garlic will always be a clove a garlic. A wedge of clementine will always be a wedge of clementine. Does that mean neither can ever belong together? I let that sit for a while.
During a morning walk, I continued to ponder this garlic and clementine conundrum. As I passed a home where major landscaping was taking place, that small voice inside said, “It is the construct that is the issue!” The thought had me literally pausing, mid-stride, for the clarity of the statement. With a focus on the structure of the garlic bulb, of course a clementine is out of place. As I thought more on this “construct issue,” it was evident the way the garlic is assembled inhibits the clementine belonging.
With attention on a singular way of being, there are limited, or in this case, no possibilities of the clementine ever belonging with the other garlic cloves. While the clementine fits, it will always be seen different for the structure, and appear not to belong.
The issue to belonging is neither whether you are a garlic clove or a clementine wedge. The issue is the ability to adjust focus and envision a different structure that has them both a part of … and belonging. The capability to be part of and belong is a capacity to question the validity of the construct. What is a structure where garlic and clementine can fit and belong? What is needed for both the garlic and the clementine to participate together?
In our day-to-day life we are surrounded with structures. Work. Community. Associations. Adherence to the structures as created and sustained can cause an inability for individuals to be part of, let alone feel they belong. Fixation on a singular construct, a nonnegotiable set of specifics that define how someone can be a part of, hinders not only a person gaining a sense they belong, it diminishes the possibilities for the whole. When someone new appears to fit yet is believed not to belong, the emphasis is on the person when a review of the construct would better serve. The efficient question is how can the structure be adapted so that all fit and belong? Shifting to explore what that individual brings to the table, opens an organization to possibilities not seen or experienced before. A change in construct can have both garlic and clementine belonging together . . .
So many of us search to find that place we fit in and feel we belong. In restructure all becomes more, whole, and belongs.