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Who is your tribe?
I've been reading a lot of Jack Donovan lately. Leading up to my re-read of his book The Way of Men, I thought I would go through his archives and read the stuff he was writing before I "found" him.
His writing has gotten me to thinking about the impact I have on those around me, my life, and the things I say and do. Do I act to quickly? Do I speak to quickly? Am I making my words count?
I want to grow as a person and as a man, I want to become better today than who I was yesterday. But that sort of thing can't be achieved in a vacuum. No man is an island, they say. Not only do we touch people throughout our lives, people touch us. Their influences mold and change us. They grow us.
Maori Warriors - Humans everywhere are tribal
If my ultimate goal is some flavor of 'masculinity', as loosely defined in my mind, then my company should reflect that goal, should it not? If I want to speak less, act less, and be more reserved, then I should spend my time with more reserved people.
This leads me to question my tribe. Who is in my tribe? Sure I can name the obvious close friends and family. My wife, obviously, is a part of my tribe. My brother is a part of my tribe. My best friend Dave is, sure. But I'm not sure my tribe actually extends much beyond that.
Jack and I are acquaintances and I feel comfortable speaking to him privately. Matt is a close personal friend of mine, as are Tanner, Davis and Phil - but these are all people that I share a digital connection with.
Quite a few of the people with whom I have some of my closest friendships are people I've never actually met.
I don't think I could consider these people a part of my tribe. If society falls and civilization collapses, Phil - great as he is - isn't going to drive 16 hours to join my group, nor I to his.
A Biker Gang - Modern Tribe
Your Tribe needs to be men around you that think like you, that have lives similar to your goals, and the same vision as you. Men who can mentor your, laugh with you, and grow you. They need to be men you can depend on when all else fails.
When the world collapses around you, your tribe should be the men you turn to for security. You all face inward.
We have each other at least.
I'm not sure I actually have a tribe.
The Way of Men is a Must Read!
Shows like Sons of Anarchy are so appealing because of the tribe, the gang. These men are closer than family. Wives come and go, children grow up, parents die - but the gang is forever.
Here is a group of men who will ride with you, die with you, support you, love you, help you, educate you, and keep you in line. Men you know are closer than brothers, that you can absolutely depend on no matter what - and who think the same of you.
We all crave that in our ever-more-isolated society, don't we? To belong to something. That's why so many men join groups like the freemasons or the elk lodge or whatever. Here is a small community, a tribe, of people who think like me, want like me, live like me. A place to belong and be secure.
The more I think about it, the more I realize I don't have a tribe. I don't have a place I belong. What's more: I don't know where to find a tribe! Nor, really, how to start one.
Jack has an idea to start a private, not-for-profit gym that is sort of 'members only'. That is an idea I'm looking in to, and will be testing out with a few friends in the near future.
If you don't have a tribe, should you search for one or build one? I suppose you should just do what comes natural. We're naturally tribal creatures, after all, and will gang up according to instinct.
"What Is Masculinity" by Jack Donovan
© 2016 Remy Sheppard