Cooperation almost always benefits everyone more than competition – especially since everything (and everyone) is ultimately (and sometimes intimately) connected (in one way or another). To be (or to “go it”) alone is often to be cut off and dis-connected. Independence is actually a MYTH – pretending to Make Yourself The Hero (and ignoring most of “All Your Relations”). “Tonto” means “fool” in Spanish. Foolishly following a Lone Ranger way of thinking may seem “heroic”, but it’s also bound to leave you feeling unnecessarily lonesome (with hair in someone else’s hand). Tonto called The Lone Ranger “Kemosabe”. Perhaps, like his English, Tonto’s Spanish was also “broken” – and what he meant to say was “Quien no sabe” (Who doesn’t know)….
People are social creatures. So are wolves. Loners are the exception, rather than the rule. People seem very afraid of wolves (at their door) – despite most humans having little or no contact or interaction with them. Scary stories aside, wolves are far less of a threat to people than other humans. Like domesticated dogs, wolves tend to be happiest and do best in the company of others. The same is true for people.
Tribes are in many ways like extended families – rather than loose “communities” of “individuals” with only limited interest and concern regarding others. A chain is only as strong as the “weakest” link. The secret is not to get rid of links, but to increase the support each receives. Communists and street gangs are not as popular as The Three Musketeers – but all have borrowed from the Tribal concept of “all for one and one for all” as among the best ways for everyone to thrive individually and communally.
The key to (everyone) GETTING the most out of a Tribe is for each member to seek to GIVE more than they receive. Rather than an imbalanced give and take exchange that creates a deficit, the synergy of seeking continual collaborative contribution tends to ensure that everyone’s needs are met and that the Tribe as a whole thrives.
Don’t be a fool who doesn’t know. Take off the mask and take a chance – letting others see and interact with you by connecting with a community. There is a Tribe waiting for what only you can contribute. Posting a comment is an easy way to start.
© 2010, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.