Thursday, August 11, 2016
More of us are living in extended households. Multiple generations are living under one roof again. People have taken to having roommates and not just college age people. Older people are sharing housing to help stretch paychecks or diminishing pensions.
A common question these days is: have you found your tribe? Do you have a group of people you socialize with and share skills and resources. If you do, great. There are a lot of advantages.
One big disadvantage is that sooner or later at least some of those folks are going to get on your nerves. That's normal. Let's face it, even Trappist Monks have conflicts.
What did our tribal ancestors do to smooth over conflict? It was important that disputes did not grow so large as to affect the survival of the group. The most common strategy was to get out of each other's hair for a period of time.
In some tribes the men would go off hunting for a few days. While the possibility of meat was reason enough, an added benefit was that they'd get out of everyone else's space for a time. Polynesians would have part of the tribe sail off to some other island for a while. Sending groups out on trading missions worked pretty well.
The San people would often spit off significant portions of the tribe for a few months. The smaller groups could go off in different directions to exploit different food sources. By the time they reunited the tribe, they were happy to see each other again.
That's the key, being away long enough to be missed. The bad things fade from memory and we remember the good about people. They also have different experiences to talk about, no small thing in the days before electronic entertainment.
So if you do find yourself in a modern tribal situation take a lesson from our tribal ancestors. Get the heck away from each other once in a while.