Likeminded! People!! Benefit!!! These are the keywords. Of course, you know that. But the real issue is, where are they? How do you find them? What do you do after you find them?

People are just people. They are a complex mix of multiple attributes. So are the individuals who collectively are referred to as people. Somehow, we want to believe, everyone is constructed with one straight line of characteristic traits. For example: If someone says, he or she is a vegan, instantly we tend to draw a conclusion about his or her all other preferences or choices. In another word, just because many of us are quick to read (judge) the characteristics of others we meet, we are always at a higher risk of erroneous supposition. Relationships based on this superficial connection fails in due time, as it is evident everywhere.

Several scientific studies have taken place to label a group of people with a set of identifiable characteristic attributes based on their similarity in certain social behavior. Let’s stick with our example: Vegans. Vegans are not to be mixed up with vegetarians. Vegans live on vegetables, however, take it a step further where it becomes a moral conviction and thus, a characteristic attribute. For this reason, vegans not only omit animals and their secretions from their diets, they also avoid wearing animal products (for example, leather, wool and silk) and avoid using any products that have been tested on animals or contain animal byproducts. For example, a vegan would avoid using a lipstick that contains beeswax. They will also avoid supporting the use of animals in entertainment (for example, in circuses). So, being vegan is a statement about a certain belief in life and existence. But, are all vegans manifest exact same outlooks in all other attributes?

“In examining other personality traits, Beck and Glasgow (1981) investigated the psychological and social conditions of food preferences among gourmets and vegetarians. In terms of demographics, groups were comparable in education, residence, gender, and ethnicity. Gourmets sought higher level of arousal of the mind and sensory input. In contrast, vegetarians kept themselves open to experiences and rejected social restrictions. In terms of friendship choices, gourmets tend to associate with people with similar interests, while vegetarians tend to be distinctive from a group, having dissimilar attitudes and beliefs from current friends.”

“In the Netherlands, a group of researchers studied the attitudes towards food and health among adults (Hoek, Luning, Stafleu, and de Graaf, 2004). Participants included 63 vegetarians, 39 non-vegetarian consumers of meat substitutes, and 4,313 meat consumers. All participants completed the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey, a food-related lifestyle questionnaire, and a health consciousness questionnaire. Vegetarians and meat substitute consumers tended to have smaller households, higher education levels, and higher socioeconomic statuses and live in more urbanized residential areas compared to meat consumers. In the food-related lifestyle questionnaire, vegetarians tended to agree that product information, specialty shops, health and ecological products, and social relationships were important. Meat substitute consumers, in contrast, agreed that the price-quality relation when buying food was most important to them. Finally, vegetarians showed a higher score in the health consciousness questionnaire for ‘health-occupied,’ compared to meat consumers. Meat substitute consumers did not differ in health-consciousness from meat consumers.”

British Medical Journal says It found that children with a high IQ were more likely to become vegetarians later in life.”Higher IQ at age ten years was associated with an increased likelihood of being vegetarian at age 30.” Now, based on these few analytical facts, are we all the meat-eaters going to feel inferior to the vegans? Are all meat-eaters the same in belief, in outlooks, in behaviors? No one or multiple preferences about choices in life can fully define an individual. Therefore, profiling does not really help us to locate likeminded people. If that was the case, then all churchgoers, all atheists, or for that matter, all artists would have been identical in their thoughts, beliefs, and manifestations. We all know that is not the case.

Based on some narrow criteria, one individual can find many a different likeminded groups or associations. For example: Suppose, you are inclined to literature who also like to socialize while having occasional alcoholic beverage, and who also finds joy in sports. If you try to find an individual or a group who have exact same three interests, you are most likely going to stumble upon disappointment. However, if you search for three distinctly different groups or individual who singularly engage in those three activities, chances are much higher that you will find three different likeminded associations. It is now your responsibility to divide your time according to your priorities, how and when you will immerse in each association or friend! Though feel free to discuss literature with the sports fans or in any other combinations, nonetheless, do not attempt to influence anyone to convert to your likings. Be authentic without expectations. Be truthful without desiring anything in return. If you can do so, soon you will garner emotional self-reliance, which in turn will contribute towards your personal and professional growth. Suddenly, you are in likeminded groups who are spontaneously eager to support you and your objectives. Every human being is a magnificent individual when he/she finds you as a likeminded person.

While searching for associations, it is advisable to avoid large organizations who counts its revenue in hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have grown up to be too big to take individualized interest in your cause. If you join too small of an organization, it may not be able to provide you with adequate support due to lack of resources and infrastructure. Small organizations may not be organized as well. Often, these organizations are simply a gathering of a few likeminded people who not necessarily aiming to advance in life through their creative aspirations. They perhaps utilize the time and energy to feel good about what they are doing. Therefore, find out a mid-scale organization who have strategic resources as well as eager to offer individualized support. Since your success equates their success, chances are high, they are to devote their expertise for your causes.

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