How do you build your tribe?

Building a tribe or community is critical to your well- being and survival.  You can’t make all you need or do everything so you will need to create something similar to a “Tribe” or a small village that brings several skills and talents together and group becomes greater than the sum of it’s parts.  Being disabled I always knew I would need help at least doing physical work and providing 24/7 security is a bit difficult if you are single. So I was always looking for ways to add neighbors that I could at least trust and had some skill set I could use and what I could offer to them in trade. I lucked out when a couple of young kids moved in across the street. A little more liberal in thinking than I am (then again who isn’t?) but they are big  into self-reliance.  Now because I can’t do a lot of physical labor I am always adding tools to make getting the job done as easy as possible. This works out great for both of us as I can share my Rototiller with them and I get my lawn mowed in return.

A lot of the stuff is just being a good neighbor and just getting to know people. I think taking over a loaf of fresh baked bread or a batch of cinnamon rolls is a great way to introduce yourself to any new comers to your neighborhood. It’s also a quick test to see how they react to homemade baked goods. It seems that people that like that kind of gift have great potential as tribe members and those that refuse it or are less enthusiastic tend to be isolated even as neighbors. Not set in stone just a general observation. I have no problem with people that want to be left alone, they just aren’t my first choice for making a tribe!

I tend to think in a kind of barter system as far as helping out. No, I don’t write it down or keep track of it, except kind of an overall sense. I don’t want to go and say “You owe me such and such, because I lent you such and such!”  With the neighbors for me it’s kind of I’m trying to payback for them helping me and I think it’s the same for them trying to pay me back. We both have an unspoken obligation to each other so to speak.

Now I’m feeling good about my unofficial tribe. Then I got to thinking how could a person build a tribe if the neighbors are not so good?  I thought of the Boy Scouts particularly the Eagle Scouts and the project they need to do for the Eagle badge. I think these young men and families would be a great place to recruit for a tribe, especially for the disabled and Senior Citizens. Or perhaps your city or town has a group of volunteers for doing a fall clean up or here in the valley we have what’s called “Paint the Town” and they paint the homes of senior citizens and disable vets.  I think getting involved in volunteer groups might be a great place for recruiting “tribe members” enen if it is just offering a cooked meal to a Search and Rescue group or taking some cookies to your local volunteer firefighters.

Perhaps some readers can add some more ideas or what has worked for them for building a tribe or village.

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4 Responses to How do you build your tribe?

  1. Spud says:

    Back when we lived in Emmett, they had that same tradition of “Paint the Town”. Nice knowing that all things have not changed. I quite often tell folks down here that in Idaho people are just plain nicer to each other.

  2. Wes says:

    Great thoughts on how to build a tribe! Much appreciated. Just taking the initiative to go over and say hi goes a long way. I’d add that specifically finding out what they need and care about is important too. Then you can potentially help them get what they want, which I’ve found to be a powerful tool in my friendships.

    • Jamie says:

      Wes, So many of the things we used to just take for granted are gone. Like the idea of the “Welcome Wagon” for when people moved into the neighborhood.

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