In community, we find ourselves. Alone, we recall who we miss. It’s our exchanges with others, not merely of goods and services, but of moments of presence and connection that tell us who we are.
Introspection shouldn’t be confused with isolation. The most dedicated monk, if they know what they’re doing, ‘disregards all worldly possessions’ to rekindle an extinguished sense of connection. Proper introspection should lead us to ‘who am I in a world inhabited by other people?’ Not merely ‘who am I?’
So, yes. Groups help us cultivate a stronger identity, a more clear view of who we are.
A group degenerates when it prioritizes itself. This leads to groupthink, hostility to other groups, a sea of negative outcomes.
A group thrives when it prioritizes individuality. This leads to stronger bonds between people, an appreciation of individual differences, a wellspring of positive outcomes.