Your Tribe

Sun21stJan 2018

I googled "tribe" and was struck by the myriad definitions. Wikipedia says "There are an estimated one hundred and fifty million tribal individuals worldwide". Given the world population of 7.6 billion, that's about 2% of us. I feel that number should be higher.

For me, a tribe is a group within which (the bulk of the time) you are welcome, you are loved and you feel you belong. It's sad that we don't feel that everywhere. But let's put that aside as blatantly obvious and move on.

I have many tribes. Burning Man is the certainly the largest and most powerful. We're 80,000 strong per year, and the festival itself is over 32 years old. I go there and indeed I am always welcome, loved and feel I belong. Interestingly, most new and old burners feel the same way. That's about connection. 

We NEED connection. It's vital to our existence. Solitary confinement is a torture for the bulk of individuals. It can even drive you insane. Think on that. Think of how you feel when you are unwelcome. Lousy right? Whether it bothers you later on is something else entirely, but in short, being a part of something matters. Being a REGULAR part of something is thus a big deal. It's why families affect us so strongly. Look at people in institutions - colleges, hospitals, prison - friends & family support is really important. 

There was a great ad on telephones once - "Reach out and touch someone". The idea was to call someone and connect. That's how we should live our lives - connecting. If we can be part of a group, great, but if we invite someone into our group - better. Life is hard. Life alone is unbearable. The sooner we all join together, the better this planet is going to be.

Written with great respect to all indigenous tribal members. I honor your experience, completely support your ways, and in no way mean to take away from what you offer your people by using the word "tribe". And while I'm here, I am SO sorry for how you have been treated. I hold space for you all on an ongoing basis.