Inside or Outside?

Posted by Doc
Mar 29 2009

I found Liz Strauss’s blog today, and particularly this post (there’s lots more – this is just the basics):

Two weeks ago, I wrote about finding your voice when the tribe has spoken. Losing a job is a sure a way to feel we’ve lost our tribe, but it’s not the only one. A relocation, a divorce, a huge setback of some sort, or some way of thinking can make us feel apart.

Lots of folks have lots of reason for feeling we’re on the outside.

It’s almost overwhelming. The world can seem to be one huge tribe and we can seem to be the only one who’s not a part. Of course, that’s flawed thinking. Ever met a group of people who could agree on anything huge for very long? The whole world is too big to hold a meeting about who belongs.

via How to Find Your Tribe in One Word – Liz Strauss at Successful Blog – Thinking, writing, business ideas … You’re only a stranger once..

It got me to thinking, once again, about where we live and how we relate to others.

As I’ve said before, we live in our own heads. Everything we think we know about the world around us is really inside us.

And yet, somehow, we form bonds and join tribes. Multiple tribes. For instance, I belong to the husbands tribe and the fathers tribe and the photographers tribe and the specialized tribe of fathers with multiple children. I belong to a technical professionals tribe and a facilitators tribe.

Isn’t it odd that that belongingness is really all in my head?

Admittedly, it’s reinforced by the behavior of the other members of my tribes. They treat me as a fellow tribe member. At least I interpret their behavior that way.

What happens when I no longer feel like a member of a particular tribe? What happens to me when I lose that sense of belonging?

I feel isolated, maybe lost, scared, and I wonder whether I’ll ever belong to a tribe again.

That leads me to think about how important it is for me to treat other members of my tribe.

Like an agile team is a tribe. Like my family is a tribe.

It’s that Golden Rule again.

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