The tribe

Creating a tribe takes time and a bit of commitment, but really not that much. You see, a tribe comes together somewhat like magnets. My City Race tribe magnets are easy to understand: Orienteering and Friendship.

When you have the same passion, it is only natural that you “grow” your tribe around that passion and the tribe members keep building up, without much concern. If you try to impose your passion on to others, things don’t go that well.

Unlike indigenous people that belonged to just one tribe and had just one place in it, these days we are part of several at once. I see these “modern” tribes as circles of bonding that you create around common interests or passions. And in each tribe you have a different culture, a different language, a different jargon, a different hierarchy and different customs. You may be a leader in one and a follower in another or even just a simple member if that tribe has an anarchic structure. And you can feel great in any of those conditions.

I, for instance, have my work tribe, my family tribe, my running tribe, my local orienteering tribe, my City Race tribe and many more. Each tribe is a circle where you are the center. You may not be the leader or the most important member that keeps the tribe together (actually no one is), but from your own perspective, you are the center of each of your tribes. And when one doesn’t suit you anymore you just cut the link completely or start fading from it to a point where other members remember you as someone that they used to know. They may try to fit you back in, from time to time, but if the vibe’s not there anymore, you never return.

Back in the beginning of 2017, my City Race tribe was only me and to be honest I wasn’t really thinking or wanting to create any tribe. As months went by, bonds started to build and one by one I was making new orienteering friends and creating a “band of brothers and sisters” (as one of my tribe members recently put it). After 3 years, a few have disconnected, a lot more have entered and now this tribe of mine is big and increasing on every new event I go to. We meet and greet each other on every race and bond a bit more on these “tribal gatherings” and when we get back home, the bonding continues through social media (mostly Facebook) waiting on the next race so that we can energize our bonding once again.

Unfortunately, we cannot all go to all events, so when one isn’t there, he or she is missed. Even if we continue to greet online, that physical absence is felt which is actually great. It means we still need a physical connection to others, despite this digital era of relationships. And curiously age has nothing to do with it because my tribe has members from age 16 to age 80!

So keep “tribing” out there, no matter what are your passions or your goals. And don’t feel sad when you’re leaving a tribe behind or fading from it. It’s only natural as interests come and go. Keep the good memories from it, as the ones that got you in it the first place. We all learn something along the way, every time and in all of our tribes.

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