In today’s modern lingo, we use the word “tribe” to describe a group of people who we feel we can relate to. These are people who we feel we connected to. They spur us on, help us believe in ourselves, and help us along the way. They listen to what others may call crazy and hear it as beautiful.
The best tribes challenge us, force us to challenge ourselves, and encourage us to dream bigger, dare more greatly, and grow deeper.
Whether you call them your tribe, clan, or network, you have found a community. And it’s a beautiful thing.
However, we have reached a point in modern American culture where a challenge is viewed as a threat and a community is only a few select people who think just like us. So, while I know that this detours a bit from my normal, it’s something that has been bothering me for a while.
The truth is, we can all have multiple tribes and we should be challenged.
I have several tribes and each is as beautiful as the next.
I have my God-loving clan which encourages my spiritual growth and supports my spiritual life. Sure, I may be different but I am still one of them and they are part of me. We don’t always agree but we are moving in the same direction and they have proven time and time again to be present when trouble strikes.
Within that clan is a mini-tribe which crosses states and even continents. These people encourage Jay and I as we seek the next steps for our lives. We are challenged in our thinking and they force us to see things from multiple points of view. They dare us to dream bigger and encourage our differences.
Locally, I have what is otherwise known as friends. My crazy hangs out and they don’t seem to mind. We have similar interests but we’re not exactly traveling in the same direction. We each listen to each other and share advice that was forged in an area beyond another’s experiences.
There are smaller tribes that I’m still trying build like a creative minded tribe, a writers tribe, and a childless in my 30’s tribe. And there are tribes that I’m a part of but engage less with, like my hometown tribe.
These tribes are diverse and varying and diversity is good. An always like-minded tribe is bad for three reasons.
An always like-minded tribe inhibits growth.
If we are always thinking like the persons we’ve surround ourselves with then we never see a reason to grow. Growth is encouraged by trying new things and dreaming bigger dreams. It happens naturally when fed a proper diet of challenge, support, and love.
An always like-minded tribe never challenges.
Growth is slowed because challenges are never accepted. A good, healthy tribe challenges us to greater heights. They believe that we are absolutely wonderful now but they also trust that we have not yet reached our most absolutely wonderful self. It is for this reason that they should challenge us to do more, learn more, and try more. They should challenge our thinking so our thoughts are more complete.
An always like-minded tribe rejects different.
If a tribe is only a tribe when everyone thinks and does just like you then any difference brought in is immediately rejected because it feels out of place. And it is! But those differences should be honored, respected, and heard. A tribe that accepts different is one that encourages growth and change.
(For these reasons, I’m saddened by the modern “feminist” movement. No one seems to want to listen or respect the other point of view. Note: I didn’t say agree. We don’t have to see to eye to eye on every issue to find common ground to fight on. But, alas, it seems too many are too busy shouting with they’re own much smaller tribe that they’re unwilling to work together to make a vast army.)
Today, love your tribes a little bit more. Thank them for the growth that they encourage, the support that they give, and the love that accepts your own craziness.