Monday, October 6, 2014

The Importance of the Tribe

This will be a short post, that should have a long follow on that gets into the details.
What I want to discuss as I get ready to go to sleep following a long trip across the country and a visit with an old friend, is the bit of a refresh I feel after spending time with an old friend and the importance of those friendships, and overall the importance of the tribe.

We as humans like to tout and brag about our independence which is by all accounts a very important aspect of our humanity, but we are also very social creatures and have a deep seeded need for tribal communities. Fostered out of the need for survival we developed as creatures of groups that of which evolutionarily succeeded more rigorously were those that formed tighter knit groups for survival.

Today we have larger communities that we live in, but far less tight communities in general. The need for utilizing our "tribe" for survival may have been greatly lessened by the conveniences of modern living, but the emotional and spiritual connections that we need from them have not left, and are often now neglected.

Think about the few close friend you have and how you feel more whole, more connected, more spiritually full when you spend time with them. These connections may come from family and or from friends typically from those we have went through the gambit of emotions and challenges with. Those we have had good times, hard times, went through challenges and built solid connections. Having those people  around you who you can verbally and non verbally communicate with, who you have grown emotionally and spiritually with is something that is very important to having a balanced emotional and spiritual level of health.

We should have these connections with folks across generations, with elders who we have bonded with and have taught up things, and took care of us when we were young and who we take care of when they are old, with children who we pass on knowledge / skills / and love to as well as to those who we grew up with and or connect with and who we have bonded with over time.

In many ways in our modern society we drift away from this. We chase down money and career success more than we seem to work to satisfy these relationships. We view our individual needs and successes more based on what fulfills use individually than we do on what builds our relationships with our friends and family that are part of our tighter tribe.

Having those folks that we have bonded with who are willing to sacrifice of themselves to help us when we are in need is a very important aspect of our health and our survival maybe not as much from a physical standpoint as it used to be (but does still exist) but definitely from a spiritual / emotional standpoint.

We all hit challenges and struggles in our lives and when we don't have those strong community relationship connections established and in place we can not bounce back as fast because our support system is not there. For this reason we need to learn to sacrifice of ourselves and our individual wants and desires a little more often and give more time to building these relationships (even during times when we dont think we needs them), as we never know when we are going to slip and fall and have ourselves in a weak emotional / spiritual / physical state where we will need that support to survive.

Individual strength is a great thing, but is not whole without the strength of a community or tribe to help keep us strong, and something we should truly strive for.
By all means pursue your dreams and goals, just remember to make time to support the goals and dreams of your friends and family, and to work on building those relationships as well, one will rarely look back on life and regret any time that was spent helping someone else in need or being a friend to someone when they needed it.
Build your relationships, strengthen your tribe, it will only serve to make you stronger and to help you be happier / healthier and more vibrant in life.

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