Irony… I’m procrastinating a short story called The Inventor’s Fellowship by writing a post on Fellowship.
They’re not related. Well…they could be…yeah…
Today we went to church, as we usually do on Sunday mornings. We spent a couple of hours in the fellowship of people whom, although we probably disagree on matters of politics, football, and the acceptability of wearing a fanny pack with crocks…we at least agree on the practice of religion.
Well, mostly. It is a congregational church, and therefore open to a lot of disagreement.
But I digress…
Merriam-Webster defines fellowship as “community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience.” Church definitely qualifies.
So does a writing conference.
It was an amazing feeling I’d never felt before. I was amongst a group of people who all spoke the same language and all had similar ideas. Within that congregation there was still a plethora of diversity, but overall we had much in common.
But why is fellowship important? I’ve been challenged before that a person should be able to practice their religion/avocation/hobby no matter what their environment. Yet when one is sitting in a cold, uncomfortable room among people who are constantly telling them they are wrong or useless or lazy, it becomes more than difficult to do what one needs/wants to do. It may even be impossible.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs outlines how humans must have specific needs met before they can fulfill their greatest potential. It is commonly applied to children who have been neglected and abused, pointing out how they are unable to progress to an acceptance of belonging and love unless they can be sure of their basic physiological and safety needs. Many children with special needs find it difficult if not impossible to ever trust that their basic needs are being and will be met. They constantly fear that these basic needs will be taken from them, just as they were before.
Fellowship comes right in the middle of this pyramid, in the green area labeled Belonging-Love. Being among other writers gave me that feeling of belonging, the knowledge that I was accepted in all my odd-humored, dis-tempered, multiple-personalitied ways was indescribable and invaluable. Now that I’m home, I crave it, but I’ll have to run off my memories for a while, refilling as I can with my local group until the next conference calls me home.