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Decide to be a part of a tribe

Human beings are communal creatures. You need a context. You need people who get you and love you, warts and all.  You need a tribe of people who share your DNA. You especially need it if it’s Jesus’ radical DNA that flies in the face of our society’s materialism, narcissism, individualism, …
By Seth Barnes

Human beings are communal creatures. You need a context. You need people who get you and love you, warts and all.  You need a tribe of people who share your DNA. You especially need it if it’s Jesus’ radical DNA that flies in the face of our society’s materialism, narcissism, individualism, and hedonism.  God never intended for us to be radical by ourselves. That’s why he put us in tribes and makes such a big deal about covenant.

We need to realize just how much we need a tribe and make that a top priority in where we choose to live and what we choose to do.  Too many of us are isolated and feel abnormal and wonder if we’re weird and need to compromise. More of us radicals need to live in the same community. And we need to do community-shaping things together.  In short, we need to find our tribe and decide to be an active part of it.

This concept of “tribe” is recognized even in the secular world. Marketing guru Seth Godin uses the Grateful Dead to show us why:

Forty years ago, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead made some decisions that changed the music industry forever. You might not be in the music business and you may never have been to a Dead concert, but the impact the Dead made impacts almost every industry, including yours.

In addition to grossing hundreds of millions of dollars during their career, the Dead helped us understand how tribes work. They didn’t succeed by selling records (they only had one top 40 album). Instead, they succeeded by attracting and leading a tribe.

Human beings can’t help it. We need to belong. One of the most powerful and unsuccessful survival mechanisms we have at our disposal is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. We are drawn to leaders and their ideas, and we can’t resist the rush of belonging or the thrill of the new.

When one deadhead says to another, “2-14-70,” it’s like a secret code. The smiles and the hugs and handshakes define who we are… being in a tribe is a big part of how we see ourselves.

We want to belong not to just one tribe, it turns out, but to many. And if you give us tools and make it easy, we’ll keep joining.

Tribes make our lives better, and leading a tribe is the best life of all.

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