March 15, 2024

Layers of belonging

It feels good to belong, to be part of a community of like minds or like hearts.

“Our tribe.”

But a tribe is double-edged. In order to include, it must exclude.

If you’re not with us you’re against us. If you’re against us we need to protect ourselves. The best form of defense is to attack.

In practice, most people don’t think this way most of the time.

Most of the time, we’re conscious that tribes aren’t mutually exclusive. The game isn’t zero-sum. We share almost everything in common.

Tribes aren’t fixed cells, they’re shifting, intersecting sets, inside bigger, shifting intersecting sets, inside even bigger intersecting sets. All contained by one Earth.

But we can be manipulated into thinking the game is zero sum.

To avoid it, think layers, not cells.

“I’m Kirsten, part of the Gibbs and Boxall families, a Geordie, a Londoner, a Mancunian, English, British, European, female, human.”

And ask: “Who benefits if I think otherwise?”

It probably isn’t you.