Tribes, in my mind, evoke images of collectives of people. People who are working together for a shared goal, hoping for a shared outcome. People who are defined largely by their shared concept of self, defining who they are by comparing and contrasting with who they are not. People who are supported beyond the scope of what we hope for while simultaneously threatened with judgement for not meeting the unstated rules of conduct.
And I thought about how limiting that can be, how stifling, how scary. How that can enhance qualities in humans that are dangerous to enhance. Or how it can diminish, or force one to hide the qualities that ought to be explored, considered and practiced. It's a phenomenon I've observed countless times, and will, undoubtedly, experience again.
But here's what the experts say: they're not working. They're not helping us- they're prohibiting us from living our authentic will, our true purpose. It's not that they're bad in and of themselves, it's that they're remnants of a time long gone, a structure that no longer matches reality.
In this global world, we disservice ourselves by identifying as only one tribe, as only one identity. In this world of interconnected ideas, shared concepts, and universal experiences the old world rules don't apply. And trying to conform to them doesn't work.
And that got me thinking about the idea of community. I see community as similar but more diverse. In a community, we collect around shared goals but respect the individual differences of each member. The different religions, ethnicities , languages, cultures. We see those differences and respect them while still appreciating what each individual can contribute. It's not about conforming, it's about exploring, wondering, being curious.
And I've thought, that while I may not have a tribe, I do have many communities. And I am incredibly, incredibly lucky to have them.