Thursday is “Find Your Tribe” day.
The full reference is to find those who see the world the way you see it, not bothering to try to “wake up” the sleeping children, but also to avoid Smiling Monsters and snakes. If pressed, I supposed I’d apply the Paredo Principle: spend 80% of your time simply building your tribe, and NO MORE than 20% of your time attempting to “wake people up” or arguing with internet trolls. For instance.
Why? Because they will wear you out, use you up. There are a thousand of them for every one of you, and will just tag-team you to death. I’ve engaged with them at length, mostly to test different forms of argumentation, or to see what early signs of Snakehood I can detect.
Racially, I discovered that people who cannot easily and swiftly answer the question: “given the same historical situation, would white people have suffered as much from slavery and complained about it as loudly” with an affirmative are harboring the belief that the different groups have different innate genetic capacity. These people have a different belief system, and are not necessarily “bad” people, even though I strongly disagree with them. Some are quite intelligent, and simply see the map differently. Others are clouded by values and beliefs programmed from childhood. Most are good, many are “asleep”: have never really examined their attitudes and the implications thereof.
If they cannot answer the question quickly and clearly, they have either not examined their attitudes sufficiently, or are dishonest and don’t want to admit what they really think. In the first case, they are sleeping: let them sleep until they awaken. In the second, at the least, they are snakes.
Snakes attempt to conceal their true beliefs, insinuate their way into your conversations and snipe. Trust me: people who believe in genetic superiority will have different views of history, social issues, where taxes should be expended, what is happening in law enforcement, and on and on. They may be decent folks, but THEY ARE NOT ALLIES in this arena. They CAN be allies in another arena (say, “should our road infrastructure be strengthened?”) but not in the arena of race relations. They see the “playing field” as relatively even, but the players uneven. Therefore they will see any attempt to even that field as “special considerations” and even bigotry toward white people. Avoid them.
Some are Smiling Monsters, the extreme. These thrive on the chaos. They may or may not believe ANYTHING they will say publicly. They take pleasure in your pain. These will often not allow you to “avoid” them. They will come after you, and for those, you must ultimately gird your loins and prepare for war.
I don’t care what your issue is: women’s rights, Libertarian economics, LGBT rights, American Exceptionalism…it doesn’t matter. If you are willing to discuss them honestly and openly, laying out your arguments while maintaining a respect for others, you are part of the great American experiment, part of what I see as a rising tide of communication worldwide, where we express ourselves in a marketplace of ideas and see which ones are in alignment with the largest number of hearts and minds.
Because I believe the ultimate reality is Spirit, and that the human behaviors which lead to survival and pleasure, the avoidance of pain and fear, over time, tend to be those we call “good”, I’m not afraid of this process, and support ANY ideas expressed courteously and with respect for the rights and “inwardness” of others. We need fear only lies and cruelty.
This approach (“find your tribe, avoid the sleepers and Smiling Monsters”) works in business, love relationships, politics and friendships. You don’t need everyone to agree with you. In love, you need ONE person. Why are you wasting your time with people who aren’t attracted to you, and won’t nurture you? Friendships, perhaps five. Why are you wasting your time with people who don’t enjoy you and won’t support you? Business, from one to a few thousand, depending on the per-unit value of the product or service you provide. Politics? A few thousand to few million, depending on the size of the group you are trying to influence. In NO instance do you need “everybody.”
My own goal: to nurture one million awake, aware, adult human beings. The strategy is to nurture a thousand awake, aware adult writers. To that end, I’m using writing (www.createthenarrative.com) and Physical Motion/the Morning Ritual (www.firedancetaichi.com) to reach the minds, emotions, and physicality of those who see the world as I do, and are interested in that path. There is nothing I enjoy more than working with these people, sharing perspectives and skills and companionship.
It is fulfilling in a way it is difficult to communicate in words, and no matter how hard…its worth the fight.