Why do people long to be accepted by others?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I am studying human behavior in college and want to do a paper on why people long to be accepted by others. I guess we all do. Why is this? –N.A.
A: A Harvard College professor once said that young people want to feel that they “belong” more than anything else. The fact is most people, if not all, want to feel acceptance — particularly by those in their circle.
The 21st century phenomenon of Facebook — conceived and given birth at Harvard — tapped into the deepest of human needs — to belong. This social media outlet has become something like a personal billboard, where the most intimate thoughts are posted on a wall in cyberspace. One woman posted that she longed to belong. When she realized that the only life she belonged in was her own, she set about creating her own world.
People of all ages want to belong to something, even if just belonging to their own way. This is why so many seek to join the clubs, gangs, or even churches. Yet society reflects the craving for a designer world, one that suits every whim. We want things to go our way, according to our own timeline, and at the pace of our own choosing. We want designer clothes, designer technology, designer homes and cars, even designer religion.
King Solomon wrote about his search for personal satisfaction saying, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.… Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, NIV).
The human race has always been on a quest for acceptance, yet it is unwilling to accept the One who is truth — but the world doesn’t want to belong to Him. Don’t be satisfied with anything less than God’s forgiveness and acceptance.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2021 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.(c)2021 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.