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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tribal Lessons



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.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. My tribe is here, there and other places, and none of us really knows what everybody else is up to. If the SHTF, I think we all know we'd all be good by ourselves, but would certainly make effort to comm. I'm furthest away from all others, but that may be good in the long run. The odd place may be the best place.

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  2. That would save a lot of marriages, too. Some folks do good with 24/7, others do not.

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    1. I've been married for 37 years. We spend a lot of time together, but there are time when I have to give her the chance to miss me.

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  3. I spend a lot of time up here on my own, with the kids up North and the wife visiting them a lot. So when we do get the family back together it's a great joy.

    My personality doesn't lend itself to a lot of socialization , so my "tribe" is of necessity limited to my wife and two kids in normal times.

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    1. Times are starting to look a lot less normal. Then again, I guess this is the new normal.

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  4. Funny you should bring this up, Sixbears. Some time back you wrote about finding your tribe of dependable friends and cohorts, and it resonated with me. Soon after we were with part of our "tribe" at their country retreat, and I described your definition to her. She agreed completely with the definition and explanation - we all have our own immediate families, but come SHTF, we have each other without asking. Nice to have, too.
    Thanks again for putting words to mine and others' feelings.

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    1. You are welcome. I think tribal organization comes natural to humans. It's how we lived for much of our history -and prehistory.

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