Social Fibre

To what can I liken the social fibre of groups?

Think of a series of concentric circles.

The smallest circle is the centre,

Followed by a series of expanding circles,

Like the ripple effect of throwing a stone in a calm pond of water.

The series of circles is a spectrum.

The further you move from the innermost circle, the greater the feelings of marginalization.

The minority has the privileged central position.

The majority occupies the outer marginal circles.

In human living,

In families,

In societies,

In gangs,

In friendships,

In clubs,

In religions,

We work – ethically or unethically,

 Positioning the self at the centre  – the privileged place.

Upon arrival –

We cement our social position,

We build walls to secure our position,

We create written and unwritten rules to determine who enters,

We neglect, ignore those on the outer circle.


We can be on the margin in one space,

And at the centre in another space.

Sometimes we are marginalized.

Other times we are the “marginalizer”. 

What is it like living in the marginal space?

A feeling of invisibility – physically visible, consciously invisible.

Conversation happens around us, as if we are non-existent.

Preferential treatment is reserved for others.

What does it feel like on the margin?

Angry, anxious, fearful, depressed, sad, alone, and isolated.

Some fight to arrive at the innermost circle,

Upon arrival they are diagnosed with Alzheimer – forgetfulness of the margin.

Others fight for the marginalized to move to the centre.

Others are too tired to fight,

They resign themselves to the margin.

Some have no fixed abode – centre or margin.

Fluidity allows them to move from centre to margin, from margin to centre.

“Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”, (Luke 9: 58)

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