Who’s In Your Tribe?

Humans are tribal.  That’s not, in and of itself, a bad thing.  In reality, tribalism is a kind of survival strategy…

Put two humans together and — provided they don’t hate each other to death on sight — they’ll bond and form a kind of ‘tribe’ based on all the things they have in common.  Tribalism is a natural outgrown of a group doing something collectively for its own benefit.  The group did this for themselves — for their sense of ‘us’.  And US = TRIBE.

We are empathetic towards our tribe.  We want our tribe to succeed and all the members in our tribe to prosper and thrive — because when they do, we do; we know this from experience.  If our tribe flourishes, WE flourish.

The problem therefore isn’t THAT we’re tribal — there’s nothing we can do to stop that part of us — it’s who we’re tribal toward.

Successful individuals will, by their nature, gravitate toward MANY tribes — their family, their neighborhood, their community, their town, their workplace, their co-workers, their friends, their long-time & most intimate friends, their drinking buddies, their social circle, their religious group, their political group, their Twitter-buds, their sports teams, their national teams, their country, their species, their planet-mates.

People who regularly experience other tribes — tribes different from theirs in significant ways — have a far better chance to succeed and live happy lives than people who can only see ‘kinship’ in people who look exactly like themselves.  If your tribe extends only to those immediately around you, you are doomed; you are setting yourself up for failure and extinction.  That’s not because someone will do you harm.  They don’t have to; you’ve already killed yourself — by driving your genetics into a dark, dark place from which they can never recover.

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