Stand above Tribalism


It’s not the end of the world. And it’s not the first time in history. But it’s my Pollyanna dream to imagine that many of us seven-billion humans on the planet would walk away from the trend of prehistoric tribalism.

The thing is, we’re likely to continue seeking the negative tribal mindset desperate to either dominate or simply survive. Fed with deliberate misinformation, fear, and a generous supply of non-information skipping factual truths (science), tribalism in its most negative form grows in energy. 


noun: tribalism

  1. the state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes.

    • DEROGATORYthe behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.”a society motivated by cultural tribalism”

Tribalism doesn’t ensconce just its comfort zones of race, religion, culture or ethnicity. Peruse any social media forum and you’ll find tribes centered on politics, anti-LGBTQ, anti-female, anti-men, anti-agriculture, anti-age groups, anti-rich, anti-poor and so on. Much of this anti attitude is not new, but it has changed over the last few years. Kindness and quiet acceptance left the polite room. Ridicule, name calling, vile memes, and accusations based on anything but rational thinking has found and magnified its voice as it prefers to shriek and howl into a reverberating hallow chamber.

What stuns me like a wasp’s sting is how many tribes are based on shaky faith-based writings by those with an agenda. History stands tall on this statement. So does experience. I remember the self-professed Christian I once worked for — briefly, very briefly. He was, I discovered, a white supremacist who believed that the Bible substantiated his hate toward any and all people of color. Oh, and he hated Catholics and Jews too. Same goes with other faith forms, albeit this is outside of my exact knowledge (other than historical events).

Whether you find comfort in climate change denial or not, us over seven-billlion humans have experienced and will experience more radical planetary weather-based catastrophes from what we once identified as normal weather behavior. Personally, my fire insurance bill has increased substantially, while other disaster insurance follows suit. Migration due to drought has fueled the immigration debate in the United States. Drought was the root cause of the Syrian crises. 

My hair’s not on fire.  My concerns are justified by a universal reality check — dollars and cents. From Munich RE, a corporate website for the insurance industry:

“When compared with the record losses of the previous year from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the indications at the start of 2018 were that it would be a more moderate year. However, the second half of the year saw an accumulation of billion-dollar losses from floods, tropical cyclones in the US and Japan, wildfires and earthquakes. The overall economic impact was $160 billion, of which $80 billion was insured.

“A comparison with the last 30 years shows that 2018 was above the inflation-adjusted overall loss average of $140 billion. The figure for insured losses – $80 billion – was significantly higher than the 30-year average of $40 billion. 2018, therefore, ranks among the ten costliest disaster years in terms of overall losses, and was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for the insurance industry.”

The report continues,

“Regrettably, 10,400 people around the world lost their lives in natural disasters this year. This groups 2018 with the years 2016, 2014, 2000, and three other years in the 1980s, in which the victim toll was around 10,000. Geophysical events accounted for 34% of all fatalities. This is much lower than the 49% figure over the period 1980–2017. Storm events claimed 24% of the victims, roughly the same as the 26% average since 1980. However, the picture was very different for the number of lives lost in flood events; this year’s figure of 35% was substantially higher than the 14% average. The reason for this was large-scale flood events in Asia and Africa.”

Now if you still chuckle at my snowflake ideas (like inclusion and climate change), google “Russia and the melting Arctic.” You can do your own homework here. The news is eye-opening.  

If a reader identifies with a tribe, please comment how your tribe can make the world a better place, as opposed to acceptance of difference and living with empathy and compassion.

It’s not easy to love every human. Some humans are unlovable and cruel by nature. I acknowledge that. Lord knows, I’ve met my share of unlovables. There are those humans who deliberately disperse divisive words and non-facts (bumper sticker language) to meet their mischievous ends. Always has been. Always will be. That is the reason for rules, laws and justice. Persons in leadership roles must be bound to rules of law and apply the rule of law justly. Otherwise, tribalism continues its circular dance to the heated rhythm of misplaced passion.

My plea is for each of us to walk away from believing that your/my truth is the only truth. Period. It’s not. Each group has a seed of truth, and to my way of thinking i wonder why we can’t share those seeds in a community garden so that we can each savor the harvest of growing into a force for good.

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