In her book, Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown explores the question of belonging. She writes clearly using research and storytelling to present her arguments which are thought-provoking and challenging.

Brown begins with a little of her background of feeling like an outsider over such things as race and religion. Her parents’ divorce added to her sense of non-belonging. Her experiences have profoundly shaped her understanding of what it means to belong.

Brene realised to have a sense of belonging you have to be first true to yourself, which is a paradox. Early in the book, Brown writes, “Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness … but it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest most sacred place you’ll ever stand” (pg. 36).

The rest of the book expounds on this thought as she discusses such things as society becoming increasingly divided over politicised issues where people are literally moving geographically so they can be around people who share their views. The problem with this, of course, is we’re never going to find people we agree with on every issue. A better strategy is to become tolerant of those we disagree with, listen carefully and always be civil, respectful and kind.

Overall a helpful understanding of what it means to belong.

More reviews of this book can be found on Goodreads. For my other reviews of Brene Brown’s book click here.


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