Seth Godin wrote on his blog today about what it means to be a lifelong fan — whether it be of a sports team, a car company, a political party, or, in his words, “anything where affiliation drives our sense of self and community.”
There’s a powerful sentence in the middle of his post and it’s this one here:
“People like us do things like this.“
We often make decisions about products, brands, and even where to live based on a narrative that we craft for ourselves. We tell ourselves that I am the kind of person who lives in this neighborhood and drives this car. People like us do things like this.
There’s an innate, emotional, and sometimes nonsensical desire to be part of what Seth calls our chosen “tribe.” And tribe does really feel like the right word. We all want to be a part of something. It helps to create meaning.
So what’s your internal narrative? It probably determines how you hire for many of the “jobs” you need filled.
Tribes are real, and the cause of much of the world’s inequality. Consequently, I identify as a judgmental globalist:
“People like us look down on people who prioritize people based on their country, tribe, race, etc.”
Am I doing this right?
Apart from that, I guess I also identify as city person who embraces density as a way to live a more environmentally friendly life, with the side effect of judging everyone who moves out to the suburbs to get their cherished single-family house and kids. But since I’m against the proliferation of tribes, I don’t band up with any particular group except my choir – it would just make me another prejudiced member of the density lobby.
How do you belong to a tribe while remaining fair and compassionate to people outside of it? That’s the hardest part.
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