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English essay that I am really proud of :) you don’t have to read it if you don’t to, but in my opinion, it is kind of inspiring.
At one point in our lives, we all search for what C.S. Lewis calls “the inner ring.” May it be while we are in school, work, or even in our personal lives, we all crave to be part of an inside group to where we feel connected. Lewis tells us to let the groups find you, rather than searching for one. I encourage everyone to be part of some kind of “ring” in order to find friends, and peace within themselves, but I agree with Lewis when he says that we should not search for a group, or an “inner ring.”
First of all, being part of an inner ring is important because you can be with people who like and appreciate the same things that you do. Becoming part of an inner ring does not necessarily mean that you are part of the “popular crowd”. Most of us have our own inner rings in our day-to-day lives. An inner ring can be a good group of friends, strongly bonded family members, and even co-workers that get along well. As a student at Biola, we also have the inner rings of being with other Christians, as well as our peers. By taking part in an inner ring we are able to talk about our problems, listen to others in need, and have other people to rely on. But, if you go searching for one of these groups, it may lead to trouble in the future.
With this in mind, a point that Lewis makes is that he says not to search for the groups. If you go searching for a specific group, it could end up being the wrong one. The other people in the group may not like or enjoy the same things as you do. If you associate yourself with a group that chose you, there is a higher likelihood of you all having the same interests. Longing for being in a certain group of people can sometimes get you into trouble. Although you should not search for a group, I feel as though sometimes you have to be able to step away from certain groups as well.
Sometimes, groups may just end up being the wrong choice. You have to be able to realize when a group is influencing you to do bad things, or good things for that matter. If they are making you feel as though you have to do something that you do not want to do, maybe it would be time to step away and take yourself out of that kind of group. You may also want to be able to see when the group is helping you to do things the right way. This may help you encourage others to keep doing the good works that your group does. If you can find a good group, stick with them and they can help encourage you in your day-to-day life.
On the contrary, some people may argue that in order to be in a group, you must search for it. For example, if it is the first day of class and you sit there and do not talk to anyone, you are more likely to not become part of a group. Rather, in the same situation, if you initiate conversations there is a greater possibility of becoming friends with new people. But in accordance to this opinion, I bring to the stage that there are different types of people. Initiating conversation is not always easy for people who are shyer. But, those who are not shy will be more willing to start a conversation. This being said, you do not always have to search for a group to become part of one.
Sometimes the inner ring that you may be in will change as you grown older and wiser. Most people have a different group of friends as adults than they had as children in elementary school. This is simply because, as adults, we are older and feel that we are wiser and able to make larger and more in-depth decisions than those of children. As adults though too, we may find ourselves trying to stay out of more groups than what we would have done as children because our life experiences lead us to different observations and perceptions of people.
An inner ring in your own life is unavoidable, whether you like it or not. You will always find that you will be part of a group, be it bad or good. Another way to look at this is by understanding the role playing aspect in your own life. We all have societal and personal roles put on us to “keep us in line.” Societal expectations that can get you into a group might be ones like being a co-worker or a student. On the other hand, personal expectations such as being a good listener, being reliable, or being a leader may cause us to think that we belong in a certain group. If you have been blessed to have already found a wonderful group, bind yourself to them. However, if you have not yet found an inner ring that makes you feel connected, sit back, be yourself, and take your life one day at a time. In all due time, God will make clear which group you belong to.