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Tribal Warfare (Because We Live In Interesting Times)

by JoAnna — December 20, 2016

Interesting times call for an army. A company of warriors. New dynasties of champions. For while we have individual paths to follow we require a battalion if we are to throw off our chains.

Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. And everyone here will ultimately be judged-will ultimately judge himself-on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort. ~ Robert F. Kennedy

Twenty-sixteen. What interesting times, indeed. Full of upheaval and change, it has been a period rife with anxiety, uncertainty and murk. If we hope to see this through we’ll have to adopt equally interesting measures to guide us. We will need break down walls, be malleable, cultivate awareness, and question everything and everyone. We’ll have to do this while tapping our finite reserves of patience and drumming up the courage to dig deep(er). We’ll also have to reach outside our corporeal walls to find collaborators. People to align ourselves with. This is because interesting times call for an army. A tribe of warriors. New dynasties of champions.

For while we have individual paths to follow we require a battalion if we are to throw off our chains.

In my head my tribe is partially comprised of horse-riding, armour-wearing, sword-wielding Amazons. Fierce. (Photo courtesy From the Grapevine.)

In my head my tribe is partially comprised of horse-riding, armour-wearing, sword-wielding Amazons. Fierce. (Photo courtesy From the Grapevine.)

Christina’s post last week (about launching your dreams in 2017) touched on the importance of having a tribe. The idea that, whether we like it or not, we all need supporters and can grow a ‘bigger platform by serving the platform [we] already have.’

I’ve been fixated on building a tribe over the last five years and, let me tell you, it’s fucking hard work. It’s challenging to forge and nurture friendships with fast moving, magnetic souls who are made of supernovae stardust. It’s hard because life gets in the way, as do jobs, partners and families. There are hungry mortgages to feed, societal obligations to fill, and rat-race sensibilities we can’t seem to shake.

Don't fly solo, interesting times

Yes, this has to do with surviving the holidays (what else to expect from Good Housekeeping) but the core principle applies to navigating the world we live in.

No wonder so many of our needs remain unfulfilled! It’s no surprise we slap our gaping wounds with band-aids of carefully curated distractions. Something is fantastically wrong when the gadgets and programs we use to simplify communication only isolate and keep us from each other. There is only imbalance when we are unable to make time to come together. When we prefer the company of machines and strangers to those we know.

Every day we keep missing out on chances to collectively learn, grow, create, understand and heal. We don’t know what it’s like to be part of an army that inspires us to action. We forget how it feels to walk among those who may not agree with the choices we make but accept us as we are, nonetheless.

I don’t care who you think you are but we all need like-minded allies who encourage us to be our most audacious and fearless selves. People who won’t squirm while holding our rattling bones together. Who plug our wounds to stop us from bleeding out. And who are desperate for us to find our happiness because they know joy is a dish best shared.

tribal movement interesting times

In his book, The Element, Ken Robinson argues that finding your tribe(s) is crucial for individual/collective inspiration and progress, as well as pursuing your passions. This is because tribe members bounce ideas off one another. They challenge each other to push against the boundaries of their beliefs, ideas and talents.

“The value of finding your tribe(s) cannot be understated. The members of your tribe offer validation and encouragement, but finding yourself in the wrong tribe sucks the life out of you.”

Given this interesting period we’ve found ourselves in there is no better time to cull the energy vampires from our ranks and surround ourselves with people ready to put up a good fight. If they’re worth their salt your tribe members will get on their knees and do the motherloving grunt work. They’ll temporarily shoulder the burdens we carry. They won’t hesitate to throw themselves on top of landmines to soften the blow. These people, yours and mine, won’t blink when telling us the difficult truths we’ve been resistant to hear. They’ll reminds us of all the things we have forgotten. And, like beautiful broken records, they’ll repeat the things we already know.

You see, in such heartbreakingly interesting and shape-shifting times we require something more tangible than our dogged myths. Like it or not, we need a collective larger than a single individual to be anchored to. We need to be armed with an assembly of everyday heroes who won’t stop until the job is done. Accomplices who itch to shatter every glass ceiling we scrape our goddamned heads against.

A brigade of mercenaries prepared to scream until they are hoarse that “there is enough,” for everyone. 

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