If I were my own best friend I would think about the importance of having a tribe. Connection.
No matter where you live I believe you have to have people who support you, laugh with you, lift you up when you are down, celebrate, commiserate, cry, love, hug, make messes, clean up, and live life with you. For some people this is their family and just their family. For me, my family fulfills some of this, but also my friends.
Those people I find along the way in life that share pieces of the same soul. Those people who feel like “home.” Those people who make the worst place in the world okay to be in, because you are surrounded by love and friendship.
I think there are a couple of key things in here I want to emphasize:
- It’s PEOPLE. Not just one person. I don’t think your tribe (well my tribe anyway) is complete with one person. I think multiple people bring multiple gifts and qualities that make the tribe a richer whole.
- Tribes are often formed over time. I think it’s quite rare to step into an already formed group of people who become your friends. I think that is especially rare as I get older. Tribes take time and effort to form. The process is organic and slow.
- Tribes change. People move. People move on. People die. People change. The people who make up your tribe will change. I think it is so very important to remember that (especially as we can get set in our ways) being open to new people entering our tribe is a beautiful gift we can give ourselves and the new people who may “join.”
- Membership should always be open. This piggybacks a bit on the previous thought but I think is important enough to merit its own mention. If you are part of a tribe, if you have a tribe, if you are a leader of a tribe, please don’t close the membership.
Somewhere out there is someone (like me) looking for a tribe to join. Consider saying hi. Consider inviting that new person to coffee or lunch. Consider exchanging phone numbers or emails at the playground. Consider letting new members in. If you are part of a tribe it might be scary to let someone new join in. But please remember it’s probably even scarier for the new person who knows nobody. We all want to belong. We all need to belong. And ultimately we are all part of one large tribe called the human race.