Have you ever had to row a boat to safety with others?
Or have you been part of a group where everyone worked in tandem for a serious and perhaps even life-saving goal? Didn’t it feel good to be together in this way. Momentary experiences of being part of what I call a “tribe” stick with us for a lifetime. Why is that?
We need only go back to the mid-1900’s to observe a culture that was strikingly different than that in which we now live...one where people really could count on their neighbor to help save their caved in roof or a drowning cat...why?...because they really knew each other and they shared a desire to support each other’s survival and wellbeing. In these early 2000’s we are far more separated and more likely to call on professionals to repair, save, rebuild, find the lost dog, and so on.
Recently I read Sebastian Junger’s book, Tribe: On Coming Home and Belonging. This reading inspired me to muse about the importance of huddling and being with others to achieve a common goal. Whether to survive the devastation of a crippling storm or prepare for an undesirable or celebratory event, when people come together with a common purpose, they create tribe…an experience not to be forgotten for decades, if ever.
Here in Maine, you can start a conversation with anyone who was around for the Great Ice Storm of 1998 and they will undoubtedly share stories of how their neighbors came together to share food, shelter, wood for heat, equipment for cutting damaged trees, and so on. There is a pride that overcomes folks when they talk about these scary, inconvenient and devastating times; I believe it is because they created tribe and that is memorable.
So what is your tribal experience? How did it shape your life? Would you like to go back to visit that time again? Why not create tribe in our everyday lives. That is the challenge of our modern society, isn’t it! I cherish your ideas and insights on this topic.