You berate and complain about your overbearing mother all you want, yet when someone from outside the family speaks against her, you naturally take up arms in her defense, unless you unfortunately have reason enough to solicit external validation of your troubles. The exact same thing happens with any belief-system, in the midst of which you were involuntarily brought into existence! One excellent outcome of such a conflict though - you realize the extent to which you actually belong to something, and how far you would go to enforce that sense of belonging. The latter, in particular, is considerably satisfying as it clearly outlines the previously vague concept of home, and makes your belief (or lack of it) come of age, overcoming all adolescent misconceptions and disinclination towards customs that you looked at as an inadequate collective. External threat, of any kind and magnitude, is therefore instrumental in fashioning a niche for your own belief-system by trimming the excess that is not relevant for your position and leaving you with nothing more or less than the exact traits that you solely identify with and have no qualms about being characterized by. Just as internal pressure can make you divert and alienate, external threat helps you focus and integrate. Moreover, you also get to decide, very instinctively and immediately, which force has a bigger impact.
3 months ago