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It's good to recognize yourself in another.

You're in good company with this idea (as opposed to the "opposites attract" viewpoint). Sociologists call it homophily. From Blog 2: Homophily - evident within daily life....:

Homophily History

Before the turn of the century, researchers had recognised homophily as the inclination for similarities within friendships (McPherson & Smith-Lovin, 1987). Aristotle once wrote within his Rhetoric and Nichomachean Ethics that people “love those who are like themselves” (Aristotle, 1934, p. 1371, cited in McPherson et al., p. 416). Furthermore, Plato stated within Phaedrus that "similarity begets friendship" (Plato, 1968, p. 837, cited in McPherson et al., p. 416). Additionally, Tarde said “social relations, I repeat, are much closer between individuals who resemble each other in occupation and education” (Tarde, 1903, cited in Rogers & Bhowmik, 1971, p. 525). Lazarsfeld and Merton also quoted the well known expression of “birds of a feather flock together,” which is still used to illustrate the concept of homophily, which they attributed to Robert Burton (McPherson et al., p. 417).

Moving poem TattooedWanderer.

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That was beautiful.

Isn't a person more than just "borrowed bits" of "shards" from friends? Isn't a person's core made up of the philosophical principles chosen? Sure, you learn and decide upon those principles from the experiences you have and share with others. But once you make those choices about who to be, those bits are no longer borrowed. Once you integrate those ideas into your core, they become yours.

It makes me wonder (even though the thought of Jerry Maguire makes me a tad squirmy): must we have others in order to be "complete?" Can we not be whole on our own?

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(gently prods c_prompt) Someone needs to lighten up. It's poetry. You're supposed to feel it as much as analyze it. Give into its beauty and the deep feelings that unfold while not forgetting your own words: "feelings matter." :)

...must we have others in order to be "complete?" Can we not be whole on our own?

You've already answered your own questions: "Humans are social beings. We (instinctually?) crave relationships." There will always be "puzzle pieces" and "star shine" missing from someone who is lonely/without others. There is probably some evolutionary reasoning behind this: to survive the various devastating conditions, humans couldn't live alone and needed to ascertain individual differences of benefit. Natural selection probably favored this need biologically to rely on others. Even economics theory acknowledges this via the division of labor.

If the question really is: can you be happy without others? In a global sense, I don't believe so. You can be happy with yourself, but that is different from being happy with your full "life experience." There's more to life than just yourself. Someone who lives on a deserted island, in theory, could be contented. But happy? Doubtful.

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While I think we all are born with a "base" that is our very own, I do believe my current "whole" is made up of the experiences I have had and the people who have influenced me. Each person I come across adds a bit or takes away, however this is far more wide ranged than just friends. It is parents, siblings, coworkers, teachers, etc. I wrote this last night after determining that I had come across a new person who is guaranteed to fill some of my cracks and was happy about it. It's not literal, and poetry from me isn't going to ever be easy to analyze as I'm not really thinking when I write it... a glimmer of an idea starts to form in the back of my head... and suddenly flows out without true thought. I have found it's better to write what comes and leave it alone rather then go back over it and change it to be realistic.

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It's not literal, and poetry from me isn't going to ever be easy to analyze as I'm not really thinking when I write it... a glimmer of an idea starts to form in the back of my head... and suddenly flows out without true thought.

I used to go to a writing group every week. We'd meet at a coffee shop for a few hours and just write. For the last 30 minutes, we'd stop writing and talk about what we were working on, where we were having problems, etc. Almost consistently, the writers who considered themselves poets always said pretty much the exact same words. It's beyond my comprehension to do anything without thinking, especially writing. I don't understand how people do it. I'm not suggesting you're being disingenuous, but I can't imagine how you could write the above without thinking.

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I don't deny it's odd, and while I can't speak for anyone else I would say it feels like a bubble in the back of my head, I actually feel a pressure as the idea forms. The more I try to "find" it the more elusive it becomes, the more I ignore it the closer it gets to "coming out". I also paint, and I've found that I cannot sit and think over the canvas either. I have to start painting without knowing what it will be, and suddenly my hands move faster and faster and it becomes something I can build upon. I wonder if it is the left brain right brain debate regarding artistry? Whereas your articles and such are coming from an intellectual area of your brain while my more "artistic" ventures are coming from somewhere else? I don't pretend to be smart enough to know, although I suppose I could research. Either way it's true, I have literally woken up in the night and grabbed a pen and a whole poem has come out that I could swear I did not write.

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I have literally woken up in the night and grabbed a pen and a whole poem has come out that I could swear I did not write.

Poetry by regurgitation. Now that is an "odd" technique. BTW, you might like some of the work by Clarisse88. She's a painter.

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About TattooedWanderer

journal/tattooedwandererTattooedWanderer

So this is my community, and it's both happy and sad at the same time. It's intended to move you. Poetry, musings, photos, art.... whatever elicits a feeling too strong to ignore. Welcome.