Topic: On Belonging: Finding Connection In An Age Of Isolation (Abrams Press)
GATE Director Sarah Kaplan hosted a conversation with Kim Samuel,founder of the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness and academic lecturer at institutions including Oxford, Harvard, and McGill Universities, on her new book, On Belonging: Finding Connection in an Age of Isolation (Abrams Press). Together they had a lively discussion about what it means to belong and how to cultivate belonging when people are increasingly feeling isolated.
Kim said that we are at an inflection point in which there is heightened stress, disconnection, and increasing environmental degradation, and how this has people searching for deeper connections.
“This idea of feeling like you’re sitting alone at the bottom of the well is how I still see isolation in my mind, which is opposed to belonging, which is the feeling of being included. But not only in relationship to others but how you are inside, and the inclusion of your dignity, and your voice and your ability to choose which is how many people can be isolated all at once.”
Kim explored the crisis of social isolation in four key areas: in our relationships with other people, in our rootedness in nature, in our ability to influence political and economic decision-making, and in our finding of meaning and purpose in our lives. She shared her lessons from the book on how to create communities that center human connection and how to build a world where we all feel at home.
Watch Kim Samuel explain what she learned about isolation from Nelson Mandela.