The truth, whether we like it or not, is that one of the most, if not the most, impactful influence in our lives that determine who we are and who we eventually become in the world, is our “Tribe”. Generally speaking, the aspects of our “Tribe” include our people, our place, our culture, our beliefs, our values, our social mores, and overall, our learned way of being and doing in the world. One dictionary defines “Tribe” as “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.”
Considering this definition we can all agree that our “Tribe” is a very powerful influence in our lives. And what we learn from our “Tribe” sets a prism of how we view ourselves and the world around us. Of course in most cases, our learned “Tribal” belief is that when compared to and with other “Tribes” ours is usually believed to the better one. I’m sure this probably stemmed from the survival instincts we’ve picked up along our evolutionary progression. And it is our “Tribal” differences wherein lies the root of many of our world’s challenges when it comes to the question that Rodney King posed many years ago “Can we all just get along?”
Now although I am very proud, as well as thankful and appreciative of my “Tribe” and for the impact my “Tribe” has played in developing me into the person I am today, I can honestly say that I no longer live within the borders my “Tribe” set for me. This “Outside-of-Tribe-Border-Living” is the result of both a conscious decision on my behalf, as well as consequences resulting from circumstances beyond my control.
You see at some point in my life I could no longer deny the cognitive dissonance I was experiencing as I considered my own life’s’ path paralleled with some of the lessons I learned from my “Tribe”. In other words, I found that my real life” experiences didn’t always match up with some of the things I’d been taught to believe, and this became the cause of the cognitive dissonance. In efforts to reduce the dissonance, I have at times had to make the conscious decision to “change” in regards to things I was taught to believe by my “Tribe” in lieu of what my life’s experience at the time was teaching me.
Initially when this happened it was very scary territory indeed. But I am thankful I found strength, courage and wisdom deep within to make changes throughout my life! For those of you who find yourself in a similar predicament where you can no longer deny that you have “outgrown” your own “Tribal” borders, but are scared beyond measure to consider even allowing yourself to think or speak of it, let alone to deal with it. Then I offer you this truth. It is no secrete that as we grow, and stretch, and live our lives, we also “Change”. None of us or the same little people we were when we were born into our “Tribe”. Because of this it should be no surprise that there will come a time in every life when if we are honest with ourselves we realize things that once served us, serve us no more. Whether it be a belief, a relationship, a job or our favorite outfit we used to love to wear – over time we all change. Change is simply part of the process of living.
I encourage you to embrace the change that comes with being who you are and who you are meant to be. The truth is, you will always be a member of your “Tribe” even if you choose to live outside of your “Tribe’s” borders. Anyway, consider this, it is usually those people who choose to live outside of the “Tribal” borders set for them that end of making the greatest impact toward positive change in the world! Perhaps you are destined to be one of those “World Changers”.
“One thing I know for sure” as Oprah says, it will take “Outside-of-Tribe-Border-Living” if we are ever to, as Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently encouraged “…learn to live together as brothers…”. Perhaps if we consider that all the worlds various “Tribes” are only separate components of the greatest “Tribe” on earth, that being “The Human Tribe”. And if enough of us make a conscious decision to aspire and live lifestyles that foster the interdependence amongst “Tribes” then the closer we will be to living together in a way in which we won’t “…Perish as fools”. Consider that!