We are all members of all kinds of tribes.
We are born into some. We were initiated into others. We were forcibly volunteered into a few and invited to join many over the years. Sometimes, we even have the courage to extend the invitation and start our own.
Building and maintaining social connections was a difficult and daunting task in the past. Almost impossible without money or social standing. Today, living at the precipice of the digital revolution, is much easier to build and maintain those connections, that’s if we make a conscious decision to do so.
But be cautious.
It really matters who you run with.
It matters a great deal.
The people you choose to associate with will either carry you on their shoulders towards success, or they will use their steel toe boots to grind your face into the mud.
If you want to know who and where you are, check who you are with.
Check your social media feeds. What are you saying? What are they saying?
Are you bitching about all kinds of social issues you really don’t understand or won’t really do anything about? Are you ripping apart other people who have simply taken the time to show the world who they are or what they have created?
They are not Michelangelo, Chopin, Elvis, or the Beatles.
They are insignificant by those impossible standards, but they do have the courage to rise above the noise and follow their passion. They are daring to share their humanity with those who wish to listen and join their tribe.
Think twice before you bitch about someone or something.
I’m not ignorant of my own failings. Don’t worry. There is no need to throw stones. If we had the time, I could offer plenty of examples of my many misgivings. I have plenty of moments of regret and nasty little habits that I am not proud of, but I have grown wiser over the years, working hard not to ignore those misgivings.
It matters who you run with.
Your drunk and venomous friends cannot help but be who they are.
Your coworkers can’t change either. They just want you to remain the same, keep quiet, and don’t make any waves.
God forbid, you decide to change.
There will be hell to pay because it does matter who you run with.
You cannot divorce your family. You cannot get rid of your life-long friends. They are intimately interconnected and interwoven into so many aspects of your life, that it is truly impossible to make a clean break.
But what we sometimes need is not abandonment, but a bit of distance.
Limit the time you spend in the company of those gossiping and negative people. Increase the time and energy you spend inside new tribes, and give to those that find themselves at a similar point in their life.
They too have decided to live. They are no longer content to merely exist. To merely await retirement. To be content with predictable seasons of the monotony of living.
Run with those people.
Choose to spend more time with them.
Share your mind and soul in their presence.
It will truly make a difference.
You will look pretty silly brewing a cup of coffee, expecting to drink a cup of Earl Gray tea.
You get what you brew.
As you decide and begin to change, you will have to make tough decisions, which will undoubtedly upset those who you associate with.
Remember that you don’t have to worry about them.
You don’t owe them your life, but you do owe something to life.
You owe her everything. You owe her, all of you.
So, take heart and find a good tribe to run with.