Sunday, April 30, 2017


"In schools we keep teaching that history is divided into American history and Chinese history and Russian history and Australian history....we're teaching kids that they are divided into tribes. We're failing to teach them that we also, as human beings, share problems that we need to work on together."   David Christian
No man is an island…
"But without a tribe, that’s exactly what you are: a loner, a rebel. Not a pioneer, a vagrant. As poetic as it may seem to go it alone, you need people to help you accomplish your vision (whatever it may be)."  Seth Godin

So which is it? Tribe or no tribe? I've been thinking about that lately. Maybe because the word seems to be popping up more often. Not in relation to Native American tribes in this country, or African tribes, or primitive tribes in the Amazon, but tribes as defined by the writer Jeff Goins -
"...existing groups of people formed around very specific interests and passions."
As examples he listed Vegans, J.K. Rowling readers and the Southern Baptist Convention. You get the idea. I've even used the word myself, in the context of talking about like minded people I have as friends or that I get to hang out with once in a while and that I wish were my friends. I am also wondering if you can be part of and have allegiance to more than one tribe.
I like being around people like this -

 And also these guys -


Can I be part of both? Can being in a tribe (or tribes) cut me off from others? Or cause me to give up on people who are not part of my tribe? 
I guess it probably comes down to whether or not you only associate with others in your same tribe. That would not be a good thing. You would be too sheltered, and possibly lured into a false sense of security, never being confronted with a reality check. If everyone around you thinks and acts and even looks like you, there are no challenges to be met. We all need to be challenged occasionally. 
The other side is that without a tribe to call your own, will you feel like an outcast and alone to make your own way without regard for the welfare of others? I've known people like that, too. The ones who say, "Leave me alone. I don't need anybody. I'm fine on my own." That's as sad as someone taking refuge within a tribe, under their protection, and never venturing beyond those boundaries. I don't know the answer, or even if there actually is an answer. And, if there is an answer to these questions, it is most likely different for each individual asking. 

It's kind of funny (frustrating? ironic?) that even after all this talk about tribes, I'm still not sure how to measure their value. I'm not even sure I'm actually a part of one. Maybe I'm that one mentioned above...the loner, the rebel. Yeah, that's me. The bad boy rebel loner. Right. Well, I do have a leather jacket and a motorcycle. And I do value my alone time. However, I wouldn't last very long without what I consider my tribe. It's small, but it's awesome. New members are always welcome. No application required and there's no initiation fee. Feel free to join up. Anywhere. Any time. 

Roger O'Dea     4/30/2017